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Controversial Bushwick Development 'Colony 1209' Changes Name After Outcry

By Serena Dai | August 21, 2015 4:58pm | Updated on August 24, 2015 9:02am
 The luxury rental on Dekalb Avenue includes rehearsal spaces, a screening room and pinball.
Colony 1209
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Looks like Bushwick's most controversial luxury development is done conquering the "new frontier."

The luxury rentals at Colony 1209 — whose marketing materials suggested the neighborhood was a "new frontier" to be conquered by gentrifiers — quietly changed its name this summer, according to a report by The Awl.

The five-story, 127-unit luxury building is now called 1209 Dekalb, named after its address.

When it debuted, the development's name hit a sour note with many locals who were perturbed by both the tone-deaf marketing language and by the development's 15-year, 421-a tax abatement, worth $8 million. It even sparked protests and criticism from local elected officials.

But neither property owner Spruce Capital Partners nor Aptsandlofts.com, the broker behind the property, would own up to The Awl about their reason for changing the name.

One broker said the original owners, Read Property Group, chose the name and ultimately decided to change it, but declined to go into specifics.

Spruce did not respond to a request for comment. The development is still listed as Colony 1209 in its portfolio.

Despite the new name, the development itself — which has apartments starting at $2,125 per month — still hasn't done enough to mitigate its impact on the neighborhood, one activist told The Awl.

“When you are gentrifying this neighborhood, you are taking away other people’s ability to live here, and to feel like they belong here. So, you should give something back to the community," activist Sarah Quinter said. “The name change is a kind of a flip way for them to deflect some of the attention, so they don’t have to give up real concessions.”