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May 26, 2017

High-rent blight

In New York and Toronto.

The preservationist Jeremiah Moss, the author of the Vanishing New York blog, points out that Greenwich Village has been a bohemian center since the eighteen-fifties, but, since the rise in rents, it “no longer drives the culture,” and instead is becoming what James Howard Kunstler termed “a geography of nowhere.” It is possible that entire classes of stores may disappear from some neighborhoods, like mid-range restaurants, antique stores, curiosity shops, bookstores, and anything too experimental. Brooklyn has emerged as a cultural center in the past two decades in part because it has lower rents and thus more interesting businesses. But, as Brooklyn’s property values rise, it might expect some of the same problems that parts of Manhattan have.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 26, 2017 06:58 PM