Study Cites ‘Aristocratization’ of Hipper Neighborhoods

Washington-based thinktank the Brookings Institute released a report Tuesday about the damaging trend of "artistocratization" gaining steam in cities across the country. The study revealed that a recent influx of exceedingly affluent aristocrats into the nation’s gentrified urban areas is pushing out young white professionals, some of whom have lived in these neighborhoods for as long as seven years.

Maureen Kennedy, a housing policy expert and lead author of the report, said that the encroachment of the aristocrats willing to pay 11 to 12 times the asking price for properties is making it nearly impossible for those living on modest trust funds to hold on to their co-ops and converted factory loft spaces.

"If this trend continues," Ms. Kennedy said, "these exclusive, vibrant communities with their sidewalk cafés and faux dive bars will soon be a thing of the past. A three-block section of [Chicago neighborhood] Wicker Park that once accommodated eight families, two vintage clothing stores, a French cleaners, and a gourmet bakery has been completely razed to make way for a private livery stable and carriage house."

American aristocrats dismiss critics who fault them for the displacement of large swathes of young upwardly mobile professionals. They contend that they too were forced out of their family estates by monarchs looking to consolidate their property in a process they have dubbed "regification." Study Cites ‘Aristocratization’ of Hipper Neighborhoods