Red Hook edges on brink of gentrification

July 13, 2012 10:00AM

Just two things stand between Red Hook and the large-scale development and gentrification that has taken most of Brooklyn by storm, according to the Wall Street Journal: poor access by public transportation and the area’s M1 zoning that allows only for light manufacturing and industrial use.

Otherwise, as shops and restaurants proliferate and an artist community descends upon the area, development would be sure to follow. Further, the arrival of an Ikea and a Fairway Market in recent years helped lure New Yorkers to the neighborhood who otherwise wouldn’t think twice about it. Their customers come to the neighborhood with a purpose, locals said.

“People prefer that there is no subway because it leads to knowing everybody you see and it’s not a transient place,” said Frank Galeano, owner of Frank Galeano Real Estate. “Some people once they see that, they find home.”

Ironically, it’s that very isolation that is drawing more new people to the neighborhood, especially artists and craftsmen that are giving birth to a host of artistic collectives and events. Sure enough, that is luring more transient visitors. [WSJ]