Over a year and a half ago, Greenpoint resident Shane Gill began feeding a colony of feral cats on Eckford Street. The Cats had congregated at a construction site there, which lay dormant due to a stop work order. Now, construction is set to begin again, and the cats’ displacement is eminent. Gill reached out to the Greenpoint community for advice about how to help relocate his feline fellows, and Greenpoint residents responded with overwhelming support for our neighborhood cats. Continue reading
In the past year covering Greenpoint happenings, I have written about more local businesses closing than I care to remember. A simple peek on Manhattan Avenue shows a smattering of empty store fronts–some shuttered for more than a year—waiting to be taken over by some business with deep enough pockets able to afford a new tier of astronomical rents. Out you go mom and pop. Adios working artists. Sayonara small fry.
Each MONTH an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 NYC small businesses lose their leases due to profiteering rent increases. And as we’ve bared witness, the only ones who can truly afford to occupy these newly priced spaces usually come strapped with shareholders, millions of dollars in equity, and a black bottom line.
In fact, the crisis is so dire, under the Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure 83,211 commercial tenants received eviction notices, an estimated 240,000 small businesses closed, and NYC saw more than 2 million jobs lost.
Real estate speculation is nothing new, but when it finally swoops in like that long lost relative no one ever wanted to deal with, the affect can be devastating as it takes over our lives.
So you might ask: Is there any real way to stop this? The answer is yes, but you have to keep reading to find out how.
In the fast-paced shell game of who is making money off of Greenpoint’s real estate scene, carpenters are getting no love these days. The Brooklyn Woodworkers Co-op–a Greenpoint carpenter collective– who has been sawing, slicing and molding wood for the last 30 years inside the Pencil Factory is now on the chopping block after being presented with, you guessed it, an insane rent increase.
Philippe Prelati, owner of Atelier Prelati who makes custom doors and member of the Brooklyn Woodworker’s Co-op, says the landlord is jacking up the rent from $20,000 to $55,000 a month—practically 3x’s what they are paying these days.