Census Data Shows Melrose Is One Fastest Growing Neighborhoods

With the release of recent census data, Melrose has officially become one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in New York City. Construction of thousands of rental units in dozens of buildings as well as hundreds of 2-3 family townhouses contributed to the over 27% meteoric rise in population. In data released by the city, Melrose placed 3rd at 27.1% growth with Battery Park City in Manhattan at first place with a 97.6% increase followed by Tottenville on Staten Island with 27.1% increase. Melrose is no longer a neighborhood where people flee but has become a destination, a community where people WANT to live.  Michael Kamber, a recent homeowner and transplant to Melrose and currently working as a contract journalist for The New York Times used to live, "...on Willis Avenue for six years but left in 1991 for Brooklyn."  He goes on to say that he, "...always missed the Bronx; Brooklyn never felt like home to me.  I missed the Bronx's open skies, friendly attitudes and a certain particular Bronx culture that's hard to explain, but residents know what I mean.  There's just something about the place that stays with you."  Kamber also goes on to say that, "The change I have seen in Melrose has been phenomenal.   I lived on Willis Avenue in the 1980's and used to photograph in Melrose regularly.  All the cliches apply: much of it was abandoned or empty.  Burned cars littered the streets.  Today it's obviously a thriving and growing neighborhood.   My neighbors say hello and have been very welcoming and the stores are open late.  The Hub and 149th street are jammed with shoppers.  The neighborhood is on the rise." Then there's Darada David, owner of PeaceLove Cafe on Melrose Avenue and East 151st Street.  Darada was raised in nearby Mott Haven at the Betances Housing Projects says that the population increase is due to the fact that it's, "the last frontier in NYC where there are areas open for development..." and it's transporation network (sic) of east and west side trains, metro north, buses and bridges..."makes Melrose easily accessible.  Darada hopes that the HUB area of Melrose, "finally becomes the beautiful village that it should be." Danisha Nazario, local business owner of Coqui Mexicano as well as a homeowner in Melrose remembers when, "...ten years ago...you could walk 5 or 6 blocks straight and only see vacant lots or abandoned buildings."  She looks forward to a future Melrose with, "...a wider variety of restaurants like Japanese, Lebanese, Thai and Korean." Congratulations to the neighborhood that could.  For decades, Melrose was synonymous with urban decay and now it is known for one of the best examples of urban renewal.  Let's not forget that we are the greenest neighborhood in the entire State of New York!    

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