Nov 172010
 

It’s not every day that the Wall Street Journal covers the Fulton Mall, so this recent article, re-posted thanks to Brownstoner, was a bit of a surprise, even if its racist undertones weren’t. The basic narrative replicated here is familiar enough: the once-great Fulton Street of the (white) department store heyday was “replaced” by an unfortunate “grungy” (read: black, lower-income) strip selling “cheap goods” and “knickknacks.” But there’s now hope of finally cleaning it all up, thanks to all the new (half-empty) luxury condos everywhere and the potential for attracting “Manhattan-type residents.” Notably, the piece fails to mention a major reason for much of the current blight: the displacement caused by the 2004 rezoning which, combined with the economic crisis, has kept many storefronts empty and construction sites stalled for years now.