Lena Dunham—2012 BHB Top 10 honoree and creator, star, writer, et al, of HBO’s “Girls”—may lead a quiet existence at her Mansion House digs in Brooklyn Heights, but apparently she’s having such an impact on pop culture that a boom is taking place in once-sleepy Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the setting of the hipster series.
Stories have appeared in both The Real Deal and Crain’s New York Business over the past few weeks about the impact of Dunham’s hit show on the nabe. The former notes, “Exposure has boosted the neighborhood’s rental market,” quoting David Behin of brokerage MNS: “We get more and more calls there for rentals every day,” while the residential sales market is also seeing an uptick.
It doesn’t hurt that the area is seeing “a slew of new residential buildings, including two massive rental projects,” with plans for two more large rez developments in the works.
Crain’s, meanwhile, documents the Dunham effect via an increase in foot traffic, focused around coffee joint Café Grumpy—where Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath works: “The hit HBO show is boosting foot traffic on Manhattan and Nassau avenues and Franklin Street, Greenpoint’s main drags, and pumping cash into the local economy. (In addition) some longtime residents fear it is also drawing more people into the neighborhood and emboldening more landlords to boost rents.”
Crain’s continues, “Like it or not, what’s undeniable is that images of Greenpoint’s shops, restaurants, streets and people beamed into millions of homes around the globe are having an impact on the area that was once primarily known for its large Polish population.”
In Brooklyn Heights, meanwhile, our slew of celeb residents—including Paul Giamati, Björk, Nate Silver and various writers and artists—perhaps offers the opposite effect, providing a quiet refuge for name brands, where they can blend in with the overall fabric of the nabe. Doesn’t that make Heightsters the true hipsters, eh?