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Topic Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

Abstract: First step into my research paper. I had to propose my research topic which is “What are the commercial impacts of gentrification and how is gentrification impacting small businesses in Harlem?”. In this assignment, I had to share my knowledge of gentrification and how I plan to start my research paper. In addition to this, I also had to find sources that support my research topic. I used various platforms to find my sources. One of the platforms that I used to find my sources is CCNY Library. After coming up with the sources, I had to write a bibliography for each of the sources where I summarized the source and explained how it is relevant to my research topic.

What are the commercial impacts of gentrification and how it’s impacting small businesses
in Harlem?
Gentrification is the process in which an urban area will go through rapid changes in its
physical state. For instance, small businesses and buildings will go through redevelopment in order
to improve housing and attract new businesses. Gentrification has both pros and cons. I am
specifically interested in focusing on the commercial impacts of gentrification in Harlem because I
believe money is a huge factor in gentrification and it is one of the, if not the main reason for
gentrification. I want to study how small businesses fall victim to gentrification and how it
impacts them. I also want to focus on the impacts of gentrification on working-class families.
Based on the readings that I have done on gentrification so far, gentrification has both negative and
positive effects.
Even though gentrification is greatly beneficial for the economy, it can be deadly for small
businesses and working-class families. Gentrification targets small businesses to make them better
and increase their value by renovating. By doing this, big businesses can take over small
businesses in order to make more profit and attract more people. Gentrification increases the value
and demands of the area which is a good thing for businesses. It helps the rich to get richer and
eliminates the poor ones from their current place.

Williams argues that gentrification causes new residents to move into a city where then
community budgets are impacted greatly. Mayor gets in the middle of confusion and does not
know whether to add more bicycle lanes and dog walking lanes or to make housing more affordable for the ones that were already living there. Based on the data, Williams also mentioned
that the new residents mean different opportunities and income levels which means more
competition; however, new residents are better educated so they have a better chance of adapting
and taking over businesses. According to Williams, as an area goes through gentrification, people
start to put in money in order to have a place under their name as soon as the place is completed.
What this does to the poor families and business owners is that they are forced to take their
businesses elsewhere so their place can be used for luxury condominiums. People who are living
and operating businesses in the areas that undergo gentrification often struggle to cope with the
changes occurring from gentrification, often face the challenge of how to cope with the changes in
the demographics and need to implement strategies to survive the changes occurring in the city.
Williams’s overall purpose is to inform the reader about the outcome of gentrification on small
businesses and how inserted residents can completely change an area’s atmospheric pressure. The
ones that are really facing the consequences of gentrification are the ones that own small shops like
99c stores and bodegas. This source brings out the consequences of gentrification that small
businesses face and the difficulties existing residents face in their daily lives.
In this source, Williams argues the impacts of gentrification on small businesses and as
well as the existing residents by providing multiple examples of the impacts. This is relevant to my
the research question is the commercial impacts of gentrification and how it impacts small
businesses because it is providing me with multiple impacts of gentrification on small businesses
and existing residents.

Plitt, Amy. “These NYC Neighborhoods Saw Rents Grow the Fastest since 2010.” Curbed NY,
Curbed NY, 24 Aug. 2018

In this source, Plitt talks about how NYC is one of the cities that has a median rent of about
$3000 per month. Based on the data collected from real estate, Plitt stated that rental prices in NYC
have been increasing dramatically over the last decade. And the areas in which rents are increasing
are mostly considered the areas that are or going through gentrification. In Plitt’s argument, She
mentioned how it is mostly lower-income areas that are facing an increase in rents and not the
high-income areas. Based on many interviews of people that were already living in these areas
before gentrification, they mentioned how after gentrification homeowners tried to get rid of the
existing people in order to raise their rental price. The overall purpose of this source is to provide
the reasons and outcome gentrification is playing on lower-income neighborhoods. Furthermore, it
is acknowledging that gentrification leaves no solutions for lower-class families to come up
with when it comes to an increase in rental prices.
In this piece of source, Plitt gives concrete examples of the consequences of gentrification
in working-class neighborhoods. More specifically, the dramatic change in NYC’s rental values
because of gentrification. Plitt states that gentrification plays a huge role in the rise in rental prices
and other commercial factors which is one of the main focuses of my research question.

Versey, Shellae H. “Ccny.” Bad Faith, 2019, pp. 174–194., doi:10.2307/j.ctv941q0p.12.

In this source, Versey collects many data to demonstrate how gentrification impacts aging
people and as well as people who are considered “Black” in this country. Gentrification brings
about many displacements and a threat to survivability for African American living in poor
class neighborhoods. Among everyone else, even the ones that have grown old in Harlem and
spent much of their adult life in the neighborhood have to face the threat of gentrification and
eventually forced to pay a higher rental price alongside utilities. Ever since the end of the civil war, Harlem has been a place that is considered as a home for the African American community. This
Blacked community once experienced a significant increase in the White population because of
gentrification. This was a major threat to the African American culture in Harlem. Among many
other gentrifying neighborhoods in New York, Central Harlem saw major changes in houses as the
rental price went up by more than fifty percent in just a short period of time. These kinds of
changes are important in terms of gentrification because household income goes up along with the
increased rent and is a burden on the older and poorer residents that are living in Harlem. The
overall purpose of Verysey’s source is to demonstrate how gentrification is impacting aging and
poorer residents more than high-income residents. Versey gave multiple sources to prove that
gentrification is causing the rental price of houses in Harlem to increase dramatically.
I specifically chose this source because it specifically talks about gentrification in Central
Harlem and how it is bringing changes commercially. Versey illustrates gentrification in a way
which the poorer residents are the ones that are being mostly affected by gentrification.