Bushwick will not reach the heights developers hope it will, if one freshman councilman gets his way.
Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg) said shortly after taking office that he would make fighting gentrification top priority — and it appears he meant it. The new politician on the block is working on a proposal to rezone parts of the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood to make it harder to build massive towers.
“I intend on implementing the rezoning as a means to preserve the character of the neighborhood,” said Reynoso.
The councilman said he believes special, low-zoned areas could help keep the neighborhood from suffering from the same kind of dramatic gentrification that has gripped Williamsburg in recent years.
His district contains the sixth- and 25th-fastest gentrifying zip codes in the nation, according to census data (two others in the top 25 are in neighboring Bedford-Stuyvesant). The average Bushwick two-bedroom now rents for $2,161, up nearly $500 from last year, the highest increase of any Brooklyn neighborhood, according to real estate industry data.
For now, Reynoso is only floating ideas about the so-called “down-zoning.” He intends to meet with public officials, as well as engineers and local organizations to craft a proposal to bring before the Council, he said.
Other neighborhoods, such as Boerum Hill, Bay Ridge, and Dyker Heights, have resorted to upward-building freezes in the past decade to keep out large developments.