With Greenpoint Gentrifying, Poles Look for Other Neighborhoods
Where do Poles and Polish-Americans settle now? Greenpoint in Brooklyn was a heavily Polish neighborhood but increasing rents and changing demographics have lead members of the community to look elsewhere, especially in Queens. Below is a translation of a Nowy Dziennik article, originally in Polish, that looks at the changing relationship between Poles and Greenpoint.
There is growing interest in real estate in Greenpoint. Available apartments are scarce and prices can reach Manhattan levels. Ridgewood, where a lot of Polish-Americans settled down in the last 10 years, is also becoming more expensive.
Greenpoint has been attracting young professionals, hipsters and artists, mostly Americans, who are moving there from Manhattan. Real estate agencies don’t have many listings as information on vacancies and houses for sale spreads from mouth-to-mouth.
Greenpoint attracts prospective residents with its small town- and family-like atmosphere and proximity to Manhattan. It also has a growing number of galleries, pubs and restaurants, which invite an enchanting atmosphere. [...]
The changes in Greenpoint have caused a decline in the number of small businesses that for years have been catering to the Polish-American community. It does not mean that all of them will have to disappear. Many longtime establishments are prospering as they were able to adjust their services to the changing demographics.
Poles who haven’t been priced out are staying put. “Migration of Poles from Greenpoint has nearly ended. New Polish immigrants have lived elsewhere for a while now due to high rent prices in Greenpoint, and those who own houses or have lived here for many years and enjoy low rent prices don’t plan to move,” says Mariola Zaremba from Belvedere Partners Corporation.
Prices in Greenpoint are comparable with those in Manhattan. Rents for one-bedroom apartments range from $1,200 to $1,800. A three-bedroom starts at $2,800. Among buyers, condominiums enjoy the most interest. One-bedroom sale prices start at about $350,000.
More recently, Poles from Greenpoint have been moving to Maspeth, Ridgewood and Middle Village in Queens where they have found Polish shops, churches and banks. It turns out these neighborhoods have also attracted Polish-Americans from other regions. “Maspeth and Middle Village attract buyers with its good schools and peaceful atmosphere. On the other hand, Ridgewood brings people because of its good prices and easy access to other New York neighborhoods,” says Adam Krzesniak, associate broker from Keller Williams Realty Landmark.