What is Flatbush shaped like? A rectangle, triangle, or dodecahedron? Depends on who you ask. Transitioning from colonial town, to NYC suburb, to part of the city itself, the shifting borders of the area reflect historical changes in land use and neighborhood priorities. The original 17th century farmland was replaced by large Victorian homes, tenement apartments, and commercial development in the 19th & 20th centuries. New neighborhoods cropped up around Flatbush’s metropolis, controversially shrinking its borders. In spite of confusion about exact boundaries, the vocal blogosphere and neighborhood community of Flatbush reveal the close-knit dedication of residents. Recently, the community held a meeting to collectively discuss their visions for future development and preservation.
The demographics of the area have also undergone multiple upheavals, from Dutch colonists, to a Jewish community, to the predominantly Caribbean population that lives there today. The 2,5, B, & Q trains that service the neighborhood connect it to other neighborhoods popular with Caribbean immigrants, such as Crown Heights. The subway lines are also handy for commuters to Downtown Brooklyn and lower Manhattan – students who attend Brooklyn College don’t ever have to leave Flatbush. The commercial strip along Flatbush Avenue includes multiple Caribbean restaurants as well as other necessary amenities.
The titles of Flatbush’s blogs indicate what types real estate can be found in there. Words like ‘Victorian’ or ‘Garden’ occur frequently – there is even a blog about gardening in the nabe. Unlike most other places in the city, many homes in Flatbush actually have yards big enough for the serious green thumb. There’s also a very diverse housing stock including large Victorian homes with peaked roofs and gables, old brick-faced apartment buildings, and new development. Condos, co-ops, brownstones, and brick townhouses are all available for sale in the neighborhood. The median residential sales price is $500K, but the array of housing spans a much wider range of prices. The median rental price is $900/mo for a studio and $1100/mo for a 1Br.