Questions and Answers
This is a subjective question and it's hard to pick a best answer based on factual correctness unless we have someone answer who is an expert in real estate/neighborhood development. The best answer will be well-thought out and be a plausible best assumption.
Miss Seen, maybe I should clarify what I meant. Harlem is not, IMHO, "hip and trendy." Harlem is culturally vibrant. I'm talking about gentrification. I'm talking about what happened to Chinatown and the Lower East Side. If I'm being in any way unclear, feel free to ask me questions.
Beee, because landlords are already beginning to escalate rents in those areas hoping that a more affluent clientele will take up residence and pay those rents, and because a lot of people are being priced out of other areas of Manhattan making it attractive to some to get a large apartment in Harlem for $1600-$1800 per month instead of getting a 4th floor walk-up closet for that same price or a nice place for two or three times the price someplace else.
What I'm not sure of is whether or not this will entirely catch on for a wide variety of reasons (neighborhood residents organizing and fighting it, inability to detach from old conceptions about Harlem, too many public housing developments in the area, too many underperforming schools, etc.).
LEX DIAMOND, I agree with you but it would be nice if working class neighborhoods could be as nice as wealthier neighborhoods, but be less expensive just because they're farther uptown.
MISS SEEN, I've noticed the Times Square effect on 125th Street, but you know what? That is what makes that area convenient and visually appealing to live in. Otherwise it would be like East Harlem where a lot of places are kinda dumps and all the stores close at 7.
Baby Harlem was always the hip and trendy area to live in. Harlem was the home of the black Renaissance. Home of the Cotton Club and the Apollo!
EDIT: I agree with Lex. I live in Bed-Sty on the border of Williamsburg and Clinton Hill and the rents in that area are getting crazy! Gentrification sounds nice on paper but all it really does is push the people who have been living in an area for year out! Where I live is becoming a "hot spot" because people are finally noticing that you can make it into the city in less than 20 minutes. But I am paying $1200 for a one bedroom! I am sorry but gentrification doesn't help anyone but greedy landlords and real estate agents!
But back to your issue. In that respect then, yes. Harlem both sides will be the next "hot" area. As soon as the real estate people kick out all the old people who have been living there for decades or wait for them to die. They are already changing the visual dynamic of the area, trying to make the area more like Times Square (Disney Landish-or child friendly).