It seems like every week a new Hudson Valley town is being touted the “next Brooklyn.” Many voice disagreement in using Brooklyn as an adjective to describe places that have little in common with the popular NYC borough. Today Brooklyn is known as being “cool, hip, or creative” while just two decades ago it was famous for race riots and depopulation. One could assume that when a neighborhood is being compared to Brooklyn, it is being compared for its qualities and characteristics.
Newburgh is not Brooklyn, it’s 60 miles away with mountain views and a 132 foot wide Main Street. But we can appreciate the comparison. Both are in New York State, both are urban dense municipalities, both have waterfronts, both suffered from deindustrialization and suburbanization, and both have amazing historic housing stock. And yes, Newburgh has a lot of ex-New Yorkers (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island and beyond). Brooklyn has been successful at reinventing itself and is now a very desirable place to be. Chris Hanson, a realtor sited in the Are we really the next Brooklyn? article seems to think Newburgh is on its way:
“I think Liberty Street is the most important street in Newburgh, both commercially and residentially. You’ve got nice pedestrian traffic, Washingston’s Headquarters, storefronts with apartments above them — lots of them with river views. The fact that it isn’t a thriving commercial district right now is sort of mind-boggling. I think it will happen, and it will happen soon; it has real momentum. The clock is ticking on Liberty Street. That window is going to close in one year to 18 months… In the last six months, Brooklyn people account for at least 50 percent of my showings. They used to go to Beacon and find what they were looking for and stop there. Now they’re either coming directly from Brooklyn to Beacon to Newburgh or from Brooklyn to Newburgh.”
So what do you think? Is Newburgh on its way to sharing some of the characteristics that make Brooklyn desirable?