Brooklyn is apparently a very different place than the hardscrabble borough of Notorious B.I.G.’s youth.
The hip hop legend famously rapped about growing up in a “one-room shack” in Brooklyn, but a new report from the New York Post found that the same tiny apartment is now a luxury building that rents for $4,000 per month. The report found that the Clinton Hill building is no longer in a crime-infested neighborhood, and gentrification has led to a sharp rise in apartment prices in the area.
A local broker said the neighborhood is filled with “hipsters and millennials,” with the residents now “people in finance and tech people.”
The “shack” that Biggie Smalls rapped about in the song “Juicy” is now part of a three-bedroom home, and it costs a lot more than when the rapper was a child.
“It’s a beautiful home and a fantastic neighborhood, filled with little shops and great transportation,” said Compass broker Fabienne Lecole. “The apartment is iconic … a historical gem.”
While the $4,000 per month rent may be high even for Brooklyn, the entire borough has seen rising prices since becoming a popular destination for young professionals. As the website Naked Apartments notes, Brooklyn has been moving in on Manhattan as the most expensive place to live in New York City. The average apartment in Brooklyn cost $2,700, which was about $800 less than the average Manhattan apartment.
Brooklyn has seen a rise across a number of different neighborhoods, including Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, and Park Slope, the report noted. There are still a few cheaper options as well, the report added.
“Fret not. Brooklyn still has plenty of affordable rental options,” the report noted. “You’ll just have to find a place outside of the neighborhoods with a ton of hype. Here are our best neighborhood picks priced below the average rent in Brooklyn.”
While the neighborhood would not be recognized by the rapper who was shot to death in 1997, it still pays honor to him. The corner of St. James Place and Fulton Street has been renamed “Christopher Wallace Way” in the rapper’s memory.
As the New York Post noted, local officials thought it was important to remember the neighborhood’s history.
“[Gentrifiers]] want to erase the history, they want to put up new cafes and boutiques and push us out of our community,” said City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo. “That’s why this sign is important today — so that the history of this place is told to our children and our children’s children.”