The New York Daily News reports that gentrification may be getting its day in the sun at last. Real estate investors and developers are flocking to the South Bronx because it's still affordable. Is it? Let's look.
The Daily News compares rents from one year to the next. In 2014, the blended average for an apartment was $954. Today in a building snagged and renovated by an investor, located at 543 East 137th Street and Saint Ann’s Avenue, rents are at above-market rates: $1,550 for a three-bedroom, $1,350 for two-bedroom and $1,250 for a one-bedroom. Sure, those may seem reasonable to many of us who pay at least $1,500 for a one-bedroom, but it's still quite a jump from $954.
Michael Kamber, director of the Bronx Documentary Center and a resident of Melrose, spoke to the Daily News about his concerns over rapidly increasing rents, saying: "We’re seeing properties being bought up all over our neighborhoods. I’ve seen this picture before… and it doesn’t end well for anyone except the wealthy."
Gentrification, once started, tends to build up momentum. While it's true that it spells bad news for the poor who will most certainly be priced out of their homes eventually, it can mean good news to the middle class, which is also scrambling for reasonably priced homes amid all the luxury condos spreading like wildfire. "For less than $300,000, you can get [a] two-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op at 1100 Grand Concourse. It has an eat-in kitchen and oak floors." Get 'em while they're hot.
Photo credit: MMZach for Wikipedia, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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