AM New York: Hamilton Heights: The invasion of the millennials has begun

By Marjorie Cohen

October 7, 2015

While still home to generations of Hispanic and African American families, Hamilton Heights is experiencing a shift: Millennials are moving in.

And with Columbia University's Manhattanville campus being built just south of the neighborhood and its Medical School campus expanding to the north of it, it's no wonder that students are also flocking to the northwestern Manhattan neighborhood.

Adding to the appeal is the gothic-style campus of the City College of New York (built from Manhattan schist stone recycled from the excavation of the subway) at its southern end. The school attracts a particularly diverse population of students.

The local parks, Riverside, Riverbank State and St. Nicholas, seal the deal for young people.

To cater to the influx of young residents, cafes and boutiques are opening in the basement level of the neighborhood's brownstones.

Local City Councilman Mark Levine said the situation is both positive and negative.

"On the one hand new restaurants and bars opening here have provided a much-needed economic boost to the neighborhood," he said. "On the other hand, long-time local businesses -- many Latino-owned -- are closing at an alarming rate in the face of soaring rents."

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