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Construction and gentrification in Forest Hills

Dec 1, 2020 2:26 PM

Photo Essays

Construction like this is nothing new. If you live in this section of the world, near the Forest Hills Orange Line stop, you’re probably accustomed to a constant barrage of sounds coming from construction, digging up the roads and doing whatever else. It’s constantly in progress. Orange cones line the street.

These new condos have popped up along Hyde Park Ave, and they just keep coming. They’re built on a piece of land that, just a few short years ago, would have been completely undesirable. But a wave of gentrification has come to this part of JP, just like virtually every other part of the city. Developers have built luxury condo after luxury condo, and still, they keep going.

When I first heard the price of one of these condos, I was shocked. I could hardly believe that some people wanted to live right next to the train tracks, let alone sometimes pay nearly $800,000 to do so. It makes me worry about the future of my neighborhood. Looking at the way that it’s changed just over the past five years, I have no idea what is going to happen or what it will look like five years from now. How many of us will have to leave due to increasing living costs?

The neighborhood feels the sting of change. What used to be flat and mainly quiet now has tall apartment buildings filling up with people. Everything is busier. There’s such a contrast between these new sleek apartments and a liquor store that’s been in that spot for as long as I can remember. Everything is different.

Just when you think that you’ve seen all there is to see, you round a corner and there are more condos. They’re everywhere, taking up every available piece of land. Before construction started, it would have been impossible to think that anything would have even fit in the tiny bit of space where they are. It’s magical, almost, the way they seem to invade.

It’s hard not to see how the flood of new people moving in is beginning to impact the neighborhood. Old stores and restaurants have gone out of business, replaced by pricier ones. It’s a double-edged sword. Maybe it’s good that we’re getting new businesses, new conveniences and new things to do. But at the same time, it’s not hard to see where this road leads. It leads to rising rent prices, pushing people out of their homes. This is just where it starts.

It seems strange to me to have the year a building was built carved into the side when said building was built in 2019, but this is the changing landscape of the Forest Hills neighborhood. The way that everything is moving so fast is almost bleak, new buildings popping up quicker and quicker. One day there’s nothing, and then, next thing you know, there it is.