Fort Greene, Clinton Hill locals spar over neighborhood ‘improvements’

June 14, 2012 12:00PM

A meeting hosted by the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill business improvement district showed that there is discord among residents and business owners over what an improvement would entail, the Local reported. Possible changes to Brooklyn’s Fulton Street, between Ashland Place and Classon Avenue — the addition of bike lines and pedestrian zones, for example — was the focus of the preliminary gathering. But the discussion eventually turned to the cost of rent and gentrification.

Residents Traded Ideas Over New Bike Lanes On Fulton Street, whereas business owners opposed efforts to attract more people to the Fulton Street strip because their customers already have difficulty finding parking. But skepticism of the plan primarily came from Fulton Area Coming Together, a group that opposes the business district, alleging that its efforts bring gentrification and higher rents.

“They’re trying to get out the poor people,” Joe Gonzales, a group supporter, told the Local.

This week, a new study, spearheaded by the non-profit Thomas B. Fordham Institute, pointed out that the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods rank among the most gentrified neighborhoods in the nation, which the Local said has contributed to new businesses replacing established neighborhood shops that cater to the new population over the years.

Citing the study, the Local said the 11205 ZIP code got 30 percent whiter between 2000 and 2010, and 11206 got 29 percent whiter. [Local]