The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Closing In On Landlord Gold
Couldn't help but take note of the price on a two-bedroom at a pre-war buidling at Flatbush & Rutland. $2400. Reason being I recall that a two bedroom a decade ago could run you $1200. That number stuck in my mind, because folks were complaining that apartments had topped the $1,000 mark in the neighborhood. From my own experience, I remember thinking geez that's do-able. Get a roomate, pay $600. Wait tables, work a shit job. You could do it, no problem. That's for young folks though. A family typically has fewer options for upward mobility, and is looking to put down roots. Hard to do that once an apartment leaves stabilization. And we're getting closer all the time in Flatbush/PLG/Lefferts.
So what's $2,400 in 2015 dollars? $1,464, according to ye old inflation calculator. NYC median income has barely budged, after dropping through the Great Recession.
You're smart. I don't need to tell you what it means. NYC continues to become more and more unaffordable to working and creative classes, by which I mean folks earning less than median but still working their butts off. Those working as teachers, city workers and non-profit employees are wondering if this City has a place for them in its economic stew. Certainly NYC is in no peril. It will continue, even thrive. But it's rapidly becoming a different City than the one most of us moved to or were born into. Thus, fear. Thus big policy changes proposed by the current administration.
The question the Q poses is this: are we prepared to change the way we think about our City in order to create more means-tested housing? Housing for teachers, artists, low-income workers. Of course there will be trade-offs - parking, height, density and more. But in my opinion, if we're too protective we risk losing NYC's greatest strength, both culturally AND economically - the incredible diversity of its people. An economic ecosystem is a delicate balance between trades, government, service workers and high earners. Plus, there will always be those who, for a variety of reasons, need support. Elderly, infirm, crisis-torn, unemployable. The percentage that fall into that last category are unlikely to fall just because overall income rises. It's an inevitable consequence of capitalism; we seemed to have made our peace with that as a country, though some would rip even the social safety net apart.
It's not for nothing that some very smart people are taking this very, very seriously.
Here's the ad:
Prospect Lefferts Garden
Flatbush Ave At Rutland Rd B.Q.S. Trains
All New Renovated 2br HH Water Inc Hardwood Floors High Ceiling Brand New Kitchen With SS Appliances + Dishwasher Lovely Common Room Equal Size Bedrooms Closet Space This Unit Will Go Fast!