When talking about Gentrification, I think the four stages that Phillip Clay identified in his 1979 book “Neighborhood Renewal” are a helpful gauge:
1)Pioneer–Small group of Risk Oblivious Pioneers. Artists, Designers, Gays, Lesbians. These pioneers generally renovate homes that are vacant and in bad shape. These folks are visionaries.
2)Expanding Gentrification–Risk Takers– Flipper and remodelers move in, start renovating buildings.
3)Displacement–Risk Neutral–Values start rising, middle class people start moving into neighborhood. This is when major changes come to a neighborhood.
4)Mature Gentrification–Risk Averse–The neighborhood becomes desirable, often with new resources and businesses. Often the original residents and early gentrifiers are displaced.
How are we seeing this in Olde Town now? We’re seeing single females purchase homes in the neighborhood. We’re seeing section 8 apartments turned into market rate housing. We see young women pushing strollers down Greene Street, rather than old women pushing shopping carts down Greene Street (most of those folks are gone now). The neighborhood is changing quickly.
Do you live in an urban neighborhood? Where do you think your neighborhood is in this process? What signs do you see to confirm that?