CastleBraid, an opulently priced hipster Wonderland located on Troutman Street in Bushwick, has been a source of community tension ever since it was built in 2010. The luxury "artist" residence has been blamed for rising rents in the area and attracting hundreds of the last neighbors anyone wants: The Parentally Subsidized Hipster.
Years later, it's receiving renewed backlash based not on its entitled tenants, but its lack of affordable housing. (The average rent on a one-bedroom runs more than $2,000 a month.) A group that calls itself Occupy Bushwick in November covered the building in crime scene tape, writing the word "Occupy" on the facade, an apparent response to the management company's attempt to shirk their affordable housing requirements. According to the Post, Occupy Bushwick is pressing management to set aside 20 percent of the units in exchange for a tax abatement it received, though CastleBraid asserts it has no such obligation. "CastleBraid is absolutely not required to set aside 20% for low income housing," a March letter to tenants declared. "This allegation is outright bogus. Can it really be that we wouldn’t be required to constantly file documentation to verify who are the low income people living here?"
In addition to the lack of affordable housing, a tenant advocacy group, ChangeCB, has also railed against management for misrepresenting the building's amenities, which, they say, have either fallen into disrepair, or disappeared altogether. Front desk security, touted as being 24-hour, exists only at night. The yoga studio's instructors have moved away, and high speed internet is slow, plodding and unusable. The same letter from management also addressed these issues:
Yes, we did have a vision of constantly adding more great stuff to this wonderful community and we did so for a long while. Constantly pushing for new amenities or fun events or added features on our website. Unfortunately, due to the vibe of litigation etc. our attorneys have advised us to hold off from adding anything at this point.
Like so many skirmishes of our time, the backlash against CastleBraid has been chronicled on Twitter under the handle @AntiCastleBraid. (The @CastleBraid account is fairly mesmerizing troll bait, one that praises Michael Bloomberg, Pat Buchanan and Israel, but alas, is not affiliated with the apartment itself.)
Not everyone is miserable, though. One tenant offered the Post his take on the Bitter Party intent on dampening his good time.
“The resentment is just haters,” he said. “Hate what you don’t know, hate what you don’t see.”