Thursday, April 17, 2014

The pros and cons of gentrification in Astoria

From NY1:

There has always been a mix of cultures in Astoria, but an influx of new residents is changing the face of the neighborhood once again. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

If you've been to Astoria lately, you may have noticed that a lot has changed here. People no longer call it a Greek area. Many ethnic groups have carved out a section for themselves. It's known as diverse neighborhood, but census numbers show that whites are moving here in larger numbers than any other group.

The government says that while the overall population declined between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of white residents increased from 45 percent to 51 percent. Latinos make up 28 percent, Asians 14 percent and blacks 5 percent. The population is 75,000.

So what's the attraction? Well, many said it's got a small town vibe in a big city. It's also a quick train ride to Manhattan, and the real estate prices here are a lot cheaper than in that borough.

However, there's also a downside, according to some people. The new residents have increased the demand for newer housing, parking spaces, restaurants, stores and other amenities.

"Then, you see all the Starbucks and all the Victoria Secrets and all the big box stores," said one person. "That's the part that we don't like."


Anonymous said...

Astoria rents are skyrocketing! You can't even park in's gotten really crowded over there!

J said...

starbucks gives a small town vibe?

Anonymous said...

One of the most important things that no one is capitalizing on: a sizeable chunk of Astoria's new residents grew up in suburbs where the dominant shopping options were big box retail.

New residents need to be introduced to all of the awesome small shops and various bakeries, butchers, produce stores and other incredibly valuable services Astoria has to offer.

An example: I was at my local butcher underneath the N/Q train and a young, late-20s guy walked in with his girlfriend and said, "I never even knew this place was here!"

Astoria Artisans should be the name of the meet and greets that can be part of the programming.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want Starbucks and Victoria Secrets in your neighborhood don't patronize them.

The neighborhood is getting gentry and the shops of the gentry have followed them to their luxury apartments.

Anonymous said...

Astoria rents are skyrocketing! You can't even park in's gotten really crowded over there!

First rents and parking are not related.

Asking a million people to come in, as Bloomberg did, will make rents high because you can never build enough to satisfy demand .

And tearing down people-scale buildings for investment-scale as Vallone did (he called it 'down-zoning') will bring a lot more people in which will make parking difficult.

Since Vallone supported Bloomberg, Vallone is at the base of both these problems.

Remember that when he tries a comeback.

Anonymous said...

Parking and rents are absolutely related. Off street parking requirements, which exist everywhere in the city outside of downtown Brooklyn and the Manhattan core, substantially increase the cost of new construction, making housing less affordable.

Joe Moretti said...

There is not one damn thing about Astoria that gives it a "small time vibe", not one damn thing.

Pretty inane remark.

Anonymous said...

There is not one damn thing about Astoria that gives it a "small time vibe", not one damn thing.

Ever seen its community board?

Astoria is pretty much a small town in the sense that everything is run by a handful of players that all know each other.

Anonymous said...

I loved Astoria ... Until recently.. I have lived in the same apartment for over 26yrs. I have seen the dramatic change.. I think not for the better.. A once quiet neighborhood turn to" I don't care "one.. It's sad.. And with all the highrisers that are being built destroys that homie feel..And of course there is the parking.. Where a "newcomer" feels that they can take up two spaces for their car, and don't give a rats ass about anyone but themselves.. Astoria I loves you, but thank goodness we don't love there anymore...

Anonymous said...

The change is amazing. Born and raised there in the 70s and 80s. That was a time when many people from Manhattan considered Astoria just another inconvenient place for them to drive through on their way to the airport.

Anonymous said...

I'm a queens native and although Greek was it's dominant ethic population, it was still diverse pre gentrification of the 2000's. Now people moving in have brought their ethnocentric perspectives upbringing came from. It's sad. These folks call themselves new yorkers but never been past woodside because it's too "ghetto".