The Reassertion of Economics: 1990s Gentrification in the Lower East Side


This article utilizes property tax arrears data to trace the contraction of gentrification at the end of the 1980s and its resurgence in the 1990s in New York City’s Lower East Side. Contrary to the claims made during the recession about the end of gentrification, this article provides an important historical record of the resurgence of gentrification in the 1990s. The paper also argues that this new ‘third round’ gentrification has to be seen as a dramatic reassertion of economics in the central urban land market. That this shift is also expressed within the popular cultural discourses accompanying the process reveals an altered relationship between economics and culture in fin de siècle gentrification.