Page 8 of 9
2000s: The Era of Fairway and IKEA
During the first decade of the 21st century, Red Hook was similar to many other Brooklyn neighborhoods in that the process of gentrification had begun. However, Red Hook's gentrification moved at a much slower rate, due in no small part to the lack of public transportation in the neighborhood and the looming presence of the Red Hook Houses. Nevertheless a strong artistic community took root, lured by huge converted factory spaces, cheap rents, and beautiful light. Small restaurants and businesses like Hope & Anchor, Baked, and Saipua opened up. The tone of the neighborhood's commercial progress began to change when first Fairway and then IKEA opened up during the decade. Although many neighborhood residents were opposed to these huge stores (particularly IKEA) the stores were overwhelmingly supported by residents of the Red Hook Houses and, while drawing many more weekend day-trippers, haven't wildly changed the face of the area. One notable change that Fairway did bring though was the addition of that part of the 'hood's first ever traffic light. Prior to the opening of the grocery store, no traffic light had been deemed necessary by city planners.