When I Grow Up I Want to Be an Offshore Purchasing Entity

Decatur Street in Bed-Stuy. (Image: Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Earlier this week, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published two short articles about a bunch of brownstones recently bought up by the US arm of an Australian wealth management firm, alternately identified as Dixon Advisory USA and US Masters Residential Property Fund. Both articles were a tad blithe, given the subject matter, since just thinking about the apparently uncountable number of properties Dixon Advisory has bought up across Brooklyn in the past few years is enough to raise our temperature a few degrees.

Dixon Advisory USA is managed by a man named Alan Dixon, who was profiled just as blithely by (who else) the New York Times last November. Brownstoner has been keeping a close eye on Dixon’s acquisitions activity, and with a just-barely-detectable skosh of dismay, which we appreciate.

Is there anything more predatory than a wealth management company, foreign or domestic, snatching up “dozens or even hundreds of homes in a single swoop” in areas already pricing out longtime residents through everyday, run-of-the-mill gentrification? Even Manhattan is starting to get worried about the stale, multimillion-dollar air of rich foreigners’ empty apartments rising steadily above its more populist skyscrapers. Now, with at least one of Dixon’s Bed-Stuy properties set to rent for nearly $11,000 a month, it baffles the mind to wonder who in hell is renting at that price, in Bed-Stuy or anywhere.

Of course, Dixon Advisory is not the only company to learn this particular trick, and indeed seems to be one of the smaller acts in the circus. As Bed-Stuy slowly transforms into Little Canberra, it feels like we’re watching the same movie that’s been playing all over New York City (and much of the rest of the country) in the years since the global financial crisis, this time in fast-forward. And the deeper into Brooklyn companies like Dixon toss their wads of cash, the more extreme the transition is.

Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.

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