Crediting NYC locals for Alphabet City’s rise

The East Village’s gentrification story has seemingly gone on forever, but recently, much of the new upscale retail comes from expansion projects of existing New York City businesses.

For example, the Wall Street Journal cites West Village’s Westville, Park Slope’s Fonda and Chelsea’s Upright citizens Brigade Theatre as instances where businesses from more upscale parts of town have flocked to Alphabet City.

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Similarly, popular restaurant the Cardinal, near Avenue B, is backed by American Apparel mogul Dov Charney, and a new bar further up the avenue was opened by some of the same people behind its predecessor, beloved dive bar Lakeside Lounge. Even existing East Village business, like the Wayland cocktail bar on Avenue C, are expanding within the neighborhood.

“We’re seeing a lot more young women come to the neighborhood, I’d say a 70/30 split,” Arik Lifshitz, president of local brokerage DSA Realty, told the Journal. “Not so much finance … But also not just waiters and bartenders and that kind of thing. These are proper professionals now.”

Lipshitz said rents in Alphabet City are 20 percent to 50 percent cheaper than they are for comparable properties on Second Avenue. Although new projects are pushing pricier rents further east[WSJ] — Adam Fusfeld