ENG 110 316-A
The topic that I have chosen for my research paper is the reconstruction and gentrification of the South Bronx. In the last five years, the community has seen an overwhelming effort to reconstruct and improve the South Bronx. As a resident of the Mott Haven area, I have witnessed the spontaneous arrival of brand new condominiums, restaurants (including Starbucks..), parks, shopping centers, and much more. These new additions to the neighborhood may seem like wonderful options for dining, shopping, and even living, but locals know all too well that they are the warning signs of sky high rent and blue eyed invaders. The Mott Haven area was definitely in need of a face-lift, with beaten down neighborhoods and a failing shopping hub, 149th street and 3rd avenue (better known as The Hub) was a breeding ground for crime and poverty. However, it’s hidden potential has been rediscovered over the last decade, finally qualifying it as competition against nearby Fordham Road. The failure of small “mom and pop” shops and run down businesses, the financial crisis of 2008, and the overall inability to maintain a stable environment, can all be blamed for the bittersweet truth: gentrification is at our doorsteps. Although much needed, this face-lift comes at an expensive price, and the locals are the ones to pay. We already know the basics; these new buildings, new shopping centers, new restaurants have been popping up all around the neighborhood. However, what I hope to find out is “why?”, why is this the up and coming neighborhood, and what are the negative/positive effects on the community?