Frustration in Bushwick mounts on issues like increasing rents, gentrification, and general unaffordability. Graffiti and construction sites provide an insight into the vibe of the community that DOB databases (and info panels) can’t provide alone. In our trip through Bushwick, we came across several projects with tagged info panels addressing issues ranging from gentrification to lamenting the loss of KFC.
897 Broadway, Bushwick
This project sits just east of Flushing Avenue, on the north side of the J line on Broadway. With the impending shutdown the L line, the J line is teeming with development. The J line is no stranger to shut downs and delays, but at the very least, it will be operational during the L line restoration project, even if it absorbs an untold number of L line refugees.
The first residential project we came across doesn’t appear to have any affordability component. A search of DOF (Department of Finance) records for a property tax benefit turns up empty. ACRIS (Automated City Registration Information System) records for this property do not find any regulatory agreement that would convey affordability either. Rents in Bushwick have skyrocketed over the last 10 years. Who will be able to afford these apartments? Rent prices aren’t available yet, but the commentary is likely well-within the realm of bull’s eye accuracy.
668 Bushwick Avenue, Bushwick
The loss of KFC. A small staple of the community. Gone forever. In exhcange for losing fried goodness, there’s a six story residential development planned for the former KFC site. In the mean time, everyone will have to deal with a dreadful construction shed blighting the community. And there’s also the issue with stalled construction. The latest construction plan was approved way back in December 2016, according to DOB records. The lot hasn’t seen much activity since the KFC closed (at least November 2016). If you think that would piss some people off, you’re right. The people of Bushwick didn’t even get an accessible public space in exchange. Like the property above, there is no indication of any regulatory agreement conveying affordability on the property.
1119 Broadway, Bushwick
Where Dekalb Avenue meets Broadway, just two lots to the east, is the latest residential unit nearing completion along the J line. We’ve only covered two buildings so far along the J, but as development churns, you’ll see much more soon. Until recently, this stretch of Brooklyn had seen better economic days. But real estate prospecting has reached as far east as Kosciuszko Street, and hints at least as far east as Halsey Street. And the fact is, more white and wealthy people will continue to settle well east of Williamsburg, and bring higher rents with them. The writing is on the wall here too.