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Hookers, Pawn Shops Threaten Brooklyn Gentrification

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The neighbors don't exactly love Prospect Lefferts' 205 Parkside Avenue. And by "not exactly," we mean that last year, one local offered the building for free on Craigslist, in the hope that someone, anyone, would do something with it already. The owner promised to turn it into a 20-family building, which might have appeased the neighbors for a few minutes. But the community board refused to allow landlord Moses Fried to add more floors. And when it comes down to a choice between neighborhood eyesore and hot-sheet hotel, the neighbors would rather go with...eyesore! Fried's latest, city-approved proposal, to turn the building into a hotel with 30-day rental suites, is drawing another round of anger from the neighbors, the Daily News reports. Fried says he's a "religious person" and won't allow prostitution at the hotel, but that hasn't calmed anyone down.

Over in Crown Heights, the worries are about petty crime, not prostitution, and they stem from a proposal to open a pawn shop on Franklin Avenue and Park Place. At the moment, "the few surrounding blocks are...home to two pricey coffee shops and a small market that sells organic vegetables and gourmet gluten-free cookies," the Brooklyn Paper explains. Residents gathered to protest the addition of a pawn shop to that mix last Saturday, with Councilwoman Letitia James insisting it wasn't an issue of gentrification but of "respect for the neighborhood." And of every Brooklynite's right to an expensive cup of coffee!
· Neighbors fear landlord will open hot-sheet suites on Parkside Avenue [NYDN]
· Proposed Pawn Shop Protested in Crown Heights [BK Eagle]

205 Parkside Avenue, New York, NY

205 Parkside Avenue, New York, NY