Zach Williams states “Pols want the reopened Kings Theatre to make Flatbush a destination on par with Manhattan’s most opulent cultural attractions.” Kings Theatre will cause a cultural revival in Brooklyn, therefore raising the value of the neighborhood and increasing attraction to Flatbush. This will lead to the opening of big name businesses as the neighborhood becomes more populated. Local businesses wouldn’t be able to withstand the increase in rent because it could triple in value. This could also impact the residential real estate because if the rent in businesses increases, then the rent in housing will also increase. This is a pressing concern for the residents of Flatbush and in response the head of the theatre stated “the theater will bring more shoppers to local businesses, and that management wants nothing but good things for the area.” On the other hand, the Corporation’s executive director, Robin Redmond is concerned about the future of the lower income residents who have rent stabilized housing.
Gentrification of lower income neighborhoods has fallen under the influence of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The mayor has a plan to implement 80,000 new units of affordable housing that revolves around the “transit-oriented development” (TOD). TOD, according to a report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, consists of dense networks of “mixed-use, mixed-income centers linked by the region’s extensive commuter rail network.” In New York there are already enough homes for people who need homes, so why implement TOD? TOD has been inspired by Mayor Bloomberg’s plan called PlaNYC2030. PlaNYC was a blueprint to attract and house a million more people in New York by placing them in dense commercial and residential developments along a transit line. This, however, could not happen because of the 1961 zoning parameters. Therefore, Bloomberg decided to rezone areas where he would develop these buildings. To zone these areas, the city responded by upzoning. Upzoning is the process of creating denser commercial development. The main reason for PlaNYC and TOD is not to develop affordable housing for people like Caribbean immigrants but rather for tax revenues. More residents mean more taxes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to incorporate TOD in areas like Flatbush and East New York. East New York, similar to Flatbush, is also a low-income community located at the Far East end of Brooklyn. The median income in East New York is $34,000, which is slightly below Lefferts Gardens’ median. Out of the 200,000 affordable housing units that de Blasio plans to build, more than half the units will go to renters with salaries between $41,951 and $100,680. By doing this de Blasio will attract wealthier occupants into these communities and in turn raise the overall property prices. In addition, the prospect of investment in neighborhoods for developers will also increase. As investment increases its land and housing prices also increases. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said in a report that these housing “has the potential to spur gentrification.” This is already occurring in East New York because the land value has tripled over the past year.