Patch gives us the skinny on the oldest gentrification story in the book. A group of technically illegal tenants (the building's commercial) at 271-265 Douglass Street in Gowanus are being forced out to make room for the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School at 3rd Avenue and Nevins Street. The tenants, mostly artists, claim that the developer, Jack Elo tried to trick them with a 100 page lease that had a clause stating “In the case of a demolition order, occupants will be required to vacate the premises in six months.” Though most people didn't sign it, it doesn't appear to make much of a difference. The tenants, some of which have lived there for as long as 15 years, are getting kicked to the curb relatively soon. The school is set to open up next year.
Not everyone is giving up, and one of the tenants says “My plan is to stay here forever. We are going to fight and hopefully we can get the community involved. This has been my home for 16 years, the neighborhood is finally turning around and I want to benefit from that. Who would not want to fight for a place that looks over a park and is centrally located near downtown Brooklyn?” It's hard not to feel for these tenants, but the odds seem stacked against them.
· Goodbye Artist Lofts, Hello Brooklyn Prospect Charter School [Patch]
· More Info on Brooklyn Charter School Coming to Gowanus [Brownstoner]