Remember that time we all had a good laugh at how stupid new neighborhood names like BoCoCa, SoHa, SoLita and NoMad were? Well it looks like at least one local politician isn’t laughing. According to the New York Times, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn plans to introduce legislation next week that will prevent real estate brokers from naming neighboorhoods whatever the fuck they feel like. Under Jeffries’ law, any neighborhood name changes would require approval from the local community board, the City Council and the Mayor. The bill will also punish brokers that use made-up names.
Quoth the Times:
“It’s the Wild West in New York City right now,” he [Jeffries] said. “Brokers are allowed to essentially pull names out of thin air in order to rebrand a neighborhood and have the effect of raising rents or home prices.”
Mr. Jeffries said that the problem started when neighborhoods like NoLita were carved out of Little Italy. He says he was no happier when brokers started calling southern Harlem “SoHa,” the South Bronx “SoBro,” and parts of Sunset Park “Greenwood Heights” because of its proximity to Greenwood Cemetery.
“Some real estate brokers have found it’s more desirable to rename a neighborhood after the dead than those who are living,” he said.
Thank goodness for common sense. When entire generations of people have grown up identifying with a particular neighborhood name, it’s not fair to rename it just because you don’t like the way it sounds (we’re looking at you, SoMa people).