Dumbo Artists Move Out For The Gentry

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The painful feeling of not being able to afford your home. Reported today in The Doorman Cometh (NYTimes), Dumbo artists, in droves, are moving out of 70 Washington Street, a huge 12-story building, where they have lived and set up shop for the past 10 years (next door to the Sweeney at right). The reason? Two Trees Management, the owners, are moving ahead on their long range plan to turn the cool, artsy neighborhood into a luxury nesting ground for Manhattan bankers and lawyers.

Beginning in August, the building, a once-vibrant honeycomb of artist studios, galleries, a theater and all manner of artistic enterprise, will be converted into luxury loft apartments, selling for anywhere from $500,000 to more than $1 million.

While the article cites how friendly the relationship is between developer and tenants, and how everyone has known for a long time that this was the deal, it nevertheless hurts. Some people are less happy than others.

“It’s the classic scenario of getting dummied into pioneering an area, building a community and having that community usurped into another sort of community that you can’t be a part of,” Mr. Warren said. “It’s just going to be a another sterile rich person’s neighborhood.”

We would venture that if Two Trees manages to move out all of the artists it will have made a big mistake. Neighborhoods need some diversity to thrive AND remain hip AND keep the rents up. Look at SoHo. Sterility has begun to overtake this neighborhood (some will say it did long ago), and the stores that used to draw an interesting mix of people are now drawing tourists and weekenders from New Jersey. The culture in this neighborhood is drying up and the ones to be hurt in the end will be the landlords when the stores sit empty month after month. MGR