I’ve lived in South Park Slope for 12 years now. Over the time I’ve been here, the neighborhood has changed drastically. When I arrived, there were only dollar stores, local laundry spots, and little salvadorian and mexican restaurants. The markets held tons of specialty goods for the many latino families who lived in the area.
But now – everything is changing. Two coffee shops, a bagel place, a wine bar and an organic health food store have moved in within the past year – and now that Bloomberg has helped his developer friends to rezone this area of Brooklyn, what used to be a low-rise little town, has become the final frontier for 6 story and higher apartment buildings.
The structures go up in record time with shoddy materials. Most contractors pay undocumented workers 10 bucks an hour for hard labor – some of the men go without hard hats.
One of my friends bought an apartment in one of the newly constructed buildings. Within a year, she ripped out her cheaply made bathroom, and had the whole thing redone (to her standards.)
Besides pushing rent rates up, the haphazard construction of 20 unit buildings clogs up the area with more traffic. It also pushes out lower-income families who have called this area home for over 20 years. I look forward to the day when there are no more lots left, and the noise of drills and hammers moves further down 4th avenue which I know it inevitably will… (Beth Botshon)
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