Park Slope apartments sit within what New York Magazine called “the most livable neighborhood in New York City” a couple of years ago. Of course, residents of Park Slope, Brooklyn didn’t need anyone to tell them that.
The people of this community have long enjoyed a near-ideal combination of easy access to the great Prospect Park; lots of dining, nightlife, and shopping options; an active, diverse population; beautiful, historic architecture, especially the grand brownstones that line the leafy streets; good public schools; and plenty of public transportation options.
The question today is: how are the changes on the neighborhood’s edges, at both the northern and southern borders, going to effect residents of Park Slope rental apartments?
To the north of Park Slope, right across the neighborhood’s border of Flatbush Avenue, is the biggest (and most controversial) construction project this part of town has seen in years, the Barclays Center on the old Atlantic Yards site. The Barclays Center, slated to open in the fall of 2012, will be an enormous indoor stadium, the home of the Brooklyn Nets, with seating for 18,000 at basketball games and 19,000 at concerts and other events.
The complex will also house eight separate clubs and restaurants, and is fronted by a rather lame and uninviting-looking public plaza. And no one seems to know, or is even willing to guess, what impact the Barclay’s Center will have on Park Slope residents, as well as residents of the adjoining Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and Boerum Hill neighborhoods.
Early signs indicate that retail rents will skyrocket in the immediate vicinity of the Barclays Center (which always means more chain stores), whereas new residential construction has virtually halted in the area, with developers taking a wait-and-see approach, though existing housing is still renting and selling well.
A different sort of growth is happening at the southern end of the Park Slope, Brooklyn community, one that’s not nearly as dramatic as the building of a massive sports arena, but that over time could actually have the effect of extending the neighborhood past its traditional borders. This happens with regularity in New York City, when the character, values, and (not incidentally), the housing prices, of a popular neighborhood spill over into adjoining communities.
In fact, some already call this section of what was once unquestionably Sunset Park the “South Slope” (or Greenwood Heights, after the historic nearby cemetery). Those are distinct neighborhoods, apart from the South Slope, but the inevitable neighborhood “creep” is starting to happen.
Anyway, in the South Slope (and adjacent nabes) there’s been a flurry of new businesses openings in the past year or so, including enough restaurants and bars to help residents to forget that, at this end of town, the walk to the subway is actually a bit of hike.
And the Brooklyn nightlife just keeps coming: next month the huge Greenwood Park beer garden is scheduled to open on 19th Street and Seventh Avenue, featuring live music, with bonfire pits, and seating for 700.
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