First impressions are not always correct. That would certainly be the case for many upon venturing to Bushwick for the first time. People are often put off by the drab vinyl buildings, but if they stroll a little further down the block, they would eventually discover a diamond in the rough. There are many of these gems such as St. Barbara’s Cathedral or the mansions lining Bushwick Avenue (previously known as doctor’s row in Bushwick’s hay day) which coexist with the drab buildings to create a kind of harmony in contrast. Along with the buildings, the neighborhood offers a similar diversity with its residents. An interesting microcosm exists in Bushwick, which is a product of a place which attracts different people for different reasons. For many, there is an allure due to affordable rents and proximity to city life, and for others, there is a sense of adventure, a place which hasn’t established itself and can therefore create new identities. Many artists and musicians have flocked to Bushwick for all of these reasons including the abundance of discount studio space. More long term residents which come from many walks of life, have raised families and established businesses in Bushwick, and we’re continuing to see that trend with the influx of younger and more recent residents. Many have opened bars, cafes, restaurants, galleries, boutiques and purchased property in the area, exhibiting their long term investment and appraisal of the neighborhood.
The investment in the infrastructure of this neighborhood by its residents derives from the quality of life they have enjoyed here. Some of the amenities which are attracting new residents to the area include food spots, entertainment and more. The local favorites are Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos for fresh tacos, Verde Coal Oven for authentic Sicilian fare, Northeast Kingdom for fine dining and use of fresh locally grown products, and Arepera Guacuco for Venezuelan cuisine. For live music, the Silent Barn offers a venue for performers and music lovers. On the other side of Bushwick off the JMZ line, lies a beloved grocery, Mr. Kiwi, which offers fresh juice and produce, organic and vegan choices, and many specialty items. On the L side, is a comparable choice in Hana Natural, which offers many delicious fresh deli sandwiches in addition to their stock of organic, natural and specialty items.
The possibilities for the future of this neighborhood are far and wide. Many investors have been buying up property in Bushwick and the surrounding neighborhoods due to the attraction for young professionals and students to live here. Despite affordable rents, the area has witnessed a significant rise in the price per square foot over the past 3-5 years and that is only expected to continue. In conjunction with properties being priced at wholesale and low interest rates, the neighborhood should continue to see a spike in sales especially with multifamily and commercial property. Furthermore, there is a push for development in the area. With vacant lots scattered throughout the neighborhood and major development companies catching on to Brooklyn’s development potential, the neighborhood should expect to see new construction and eventually condominium sites in the near future.