Neighborhood nicknames under attack

Signage for a new hotel opening on Kenmare Street. Could Jeffries’s bill make it
the last of the Nolitans?

A neighborhood by any other name … might cost brokers thousands in fines.

Nicknames like ProCro, Nolita and DUMBO might become a thing of the past, thanks to Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who introduced the Neighborhood Integrity Act to the state Legislature yesterday. His bill would require the city to create a legally defined map of neighborhoods.

If Jeffries has his way, brokers who don’t obey these definitions when listing apartments could lose their license or face $1,000 fines.

“The practice of brokers creating neighborhoods out of thin air has become increasingly frequent,” said Jeffries, who cited SoHa, SoBro and Greenwood Heights as examples.

“Many of these neighborhoods are working class, and brokers have decided they needed to rename them to make them more attractive to affluent New Yorkers,” he continued. This causes gentrification, he said, and some New Yorkers getting priced out of their homes.

His campaign already sports a victory against real estate giant Corcoran. After getting a letter from Jeffries, CEO Pam Liebman of the Corcoran Group pledged to properly distinguish the difference between Prospect Heights and Crown Heights.

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.


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