Alison Gregor writes a long article on the changes on coming to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, described by some as “Brooklyn’s best-kept secret”—at least until now.
So what does it take for a neighborhood in to gain “it” status in New York City’s famous real estate market? The list for Prospect-Lefferts Gardens reads the like the crown jewels of urbanism: “bordering the east side of Prospect Park and down the road from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, with a substantial and attractive historic district, and subway stops for three express trains.”
Not to mention that “[it’s] also a community with no hard-and-fast height limits on development, and its real estate can cost as little as half that on the other side of the park.”
Those conditions are attracting a lot of attention from developers: “There are about 10 projects in the works to create luxury rentals or condominiums in the neighborhood…” But those changes are a rude awakening for the 40,000 long-time resident of the neighborhood—African-American and Caribbean-American—who haven’t seen much change in the neighborhood. How completely has the neighborhood been able to slip under the development radar? It’s last significant development investment came in the 1960s: “The last substantial development in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens was Patio Gardens, two 16-story towers with about 460 apartments at 580-590 Flatbush, which went up in the early 1960s, before the neighborhood received its current name.”
Reactions of residents include a call for a moratorium on certain high-rise development until zoning can be changed and a lawsuit to stop a project at 626 Flatbush Avenue, a block from Prospect Park.