Changing Retail Dynamics in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Urban Planning Thesis

Norabelle Greenberger

Stacey Sutton, advisor

This study examined the impacts of gentrification on retail activity through a case study of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Since 2000, Greenpoint has undergone rapid neighborhood changes that have affected both the demographics of residency and the types of businesses that line the streets. Retail changes at the street level have significant implications for the character of the neighborhood that merit attention. To examine the relationship between gentrification and retail change, this paper looked at two questions: how has Greenpoint retail changed since 2000, and what are the underlying causes of these changes? Quantitative analyses supported by interviews with local retailers served as the methodological framework for the study with change indicated by three determinants: business closures, business openings and changes in establishment types. The aim of the research was to gain a better understanding of the reasons underlying retail change as it relates to gentrification, thereby serving as foundation for future efforts to preserve certain defining elements of neighborhood character.