Is Flatbush safe? Get answers to these questions and more. In 1651, Flatbush was the Dutch Nieuw Nederland colony town of Midwoud. It was the county seat for what became Kings County after being surrendered to the English in 1664. It played a significant role in the American Revolution, with key fights of the Battle of Long Island taking place there.
Nestled within Brooklyn, Flatbush is a neighborhood celebrated for its diversity and sense of community. Over the years, it has undergone significant changes, with crime rates between 1990 and 2020 decreasing substantially by 81% in East Flatbush and even more so within the 70th Precinct’s jurisdiction. This positive trend is complemented by the presence of essential services like fire stations and hospitals, such as SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kings County Hospital, which contribute to a feeling of safety among its inhabitants
Brief History of Flatbush
Flatbush, now a bustling Brooklyn neighborhood, boasts a storied past that stretches back over three centuries. It was originally a Dutch village named Midwout, chartered in 1651, and served as the county seat for Kings County, playing a pivotal role in the area’s early governance. The transformation from rural farmland to urban suburbia began earnestly in the early 20th century, spurred by the expansion of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit line to Coney Island.
This development led to the construction of the neighborhoods of Victorian Flatbush, some of the earliest suburbs in the area. By 1894, Flatbush was incorporated into Brooklyn City, and just four years later, it was consolidated into the burgeoning metropolis of Greater New York. Today’s Flatbush is a testament to this evolution, with its diverse housing styles and commercial retail spaces contrasting sharply with its humble agrarian beginnings.
Crime Rate In Flatbush: A Statistical Snapshot
Based on the 2021 data, which is the latest available from the FBI, Flatbush had estimated crime rates as follows: a total crime estimate of 177,320 per 100k people, violent crime at an estimated rate of 578 per 100k people, and property crime at an estimated rate of 1,559 per 100k people. It’s important to note that these figures were generated using local law enforcement data and algorithms to estimate the number of crimes, as FBI data was not available for Flatbush specifically.
In terms of the general safety of Flatbush, the crime rates were noted to be 100% lower than the national average, with violent crimes also being 100% lower than the national average. Residents in Flatbush reportedly have a 1 in 47 chance of becoming a victim of crime, and the area is rated as safer than 0% of the cities in New York. Year over year, crime in New York has increased by 5%.
The Flatbush crime map, which gives a detailed overview of all crimes as reported by local law enforcement agencies, shows varying levels of crime throughout the neighborhood. It’s crucial to understand that high-crime areas on the map might not necessarily be dangerous for residents but could be influenced by higher traffic areas like airports or tourist spots.
A Melting Pot of People
The demographics of Flatbush paint a picture of a vibrant and diverse community within Brooklyn. The neighborhood is home to approximately 129,617 people, with a population density significantly higher than the rest of New York. The median age of residents is 35.7 years, slightly younger than the citywide median.
Flatbush displays a diverse ethnic composition, with 61.22% of its population identifying as Black, 18.75% as White, and 5.95% as Asian. A significant portion of the community, 28.9%, identifies as Hispanic or Latino. This rich tapestry of cultures and backgrounds contributes to the neighborhood’s dynamic character and is a defining aspect of its identity.
Real Estate in Flatbush
The real estate market in Flatbush, Brooklyn, has shown varied trends recently. As of last month, the median sale price of a home was $648,000, which represents a 15.9% decrease compared to the previous year. However, the median sale price per square foot has increased by 12.3%, reaching $689.
In contrast, another source indicates a more significant decrease, with the median sale price in June 2023 at $500,000, a drop of 22.4% year over year. The median price per square foot also saw a sharp decrease of 41.3%, settling at $534. The number of transactions rose by 38.5% compared to the previous year2.
The market dynamics suggest that Flatbush is currently a buyer’s market, with the supply of homes exceeding the demand. Properties are taking longer to sell, averaging around 90 days on the market. In the adjacent area of East Flatbush, the real estate situation is slightly different. The median sale price for the first quarter of 2023 was $638,000, showing a 6.4% increase year over year, and the median price per square foot was up by 10.7% to $478. However, the number of transactions decreased by 19.6%.
These figures indicate that while there may be a general cooling in the market, certain segments like East Flatbush are still experiencing growth in property values. The increase in the median price per square foot suggests that smaller properties may be gaining value faster than larger ones, or there may be a trend towards the sale of more premium, smaller properties. The overall picture is one of a shifting market that may present opportunities for buyers, especially in areas where prices have fallen more substantially.
Brooklyn College in Flatbush has been around since 1930 and has numerous notable alumni. Over 50% of residents have an associate’s degree or higher, and the median household income is $61,798. Flatbush also has multiple A+ public schools, including traditional, charter, and magnet schools. Examples of highly rated schools include:
- Stuyvesant High School
- Horace Mann School
- High School of American Studies at Lehman College.
- Baccalaureate School for Global Education
- The Brooklyn Latin School
For those seeking educational resources, Flatbush has various libraries to frequent. There are three public library branches in Flatbush, including one near Prospect Park. There are also libraries in locations such as Touro College and Yeshivah of Flatbush.
Flatbush, a neighborhood known for its cultural diversity, reflects a political climate that is largely Democratic. Brooklyn has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1924, and recent elections have seen strong support for Democratic candidates. For instance, Barack Obama won over 79% of the vote in Brooklyn in 2008 and increased that margin in 2012.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, four Democrats and one Republican represented Brooklyn as of 2020. One of these, Yvette Clarke, has been representing New York’s 9th congressional district since 2006, which includes Flatbush. The area is characterized by a strong Democratic leaning, with Democratic registered voters consistently making up around 70% of the electorate over the past decades.
These figures suggest a political landscape in Flatbush that is solidly blue, with progressive policies likely influencing local governance and community initiatives.
Is Flatbush Safe?
Two police precincts patrol Flatbush: the 67th Precinct serving East Flatbush and the 70th Precinct serving Midwood, Ditmas Park, and Prospect Park. Between 1990 and 2020, crime rates decreased by 81% in East Flatbush and 87.8% in the 70th Precinct areas. Additionally, three fire stations serve Flatbush, and the two main hospitals are SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kings County Hospital.
The area is relatively safe according to testimonials on platforms like Niche, where individuals express few concerns regarding their safety. A poll on Niche reflects this sentiment, showing that 71% of respondents feel pretty safe, although some safety concerns are noted by 21% of the participants.
However, like many urban areas, Flatbush does experience crime. A recent report highlighted fluctuations in crime rates, with a 19.5% decrease in crime reported to Flatbush’s 67th Precinct but an 81.8% increase reported to East Flatbush’s 70th Precinct during a specific week compared to the same period in the previous year. This indicates that while there may be a general sense of safety among residents, crime rates can vary and may experience surges.
Looking at the broader statistics, Flatbush has an average rate of 1,054 violent crimes and 1,199 property crimes per 100,000 residents annually. Assault is noted as the highest violent crime in the area, affecting 850 out of 100,000 people.
In summary, the general consensus among residents is that Flatbush is a relatively safe place to live, with most people feeling secure in their day-to-day lives. Nonetheless, it is not without crime, and certain areas within Flatbush may experience higher rates of criminal activity. It’s recommended for residents and visitors to stay informed about local crime trends and to take standard precautions as they would in any urban environment.
Eating In Flatbush
Flatbush’s culinary scene is a vibrant mix reflecting its diverse cultural fabric. With a significant Caribbean community, the neighborhood’s food offerings are robust in flavors from the islands. Establishments like Picky Eaters cater to a variety of tastes with dishes that draw inspiration from Trinidad, along with broader Caribbean, African, and Chinese influences.
The variety of dining options in Flatbush spans from Thai at Thai Farm Kitchen to European cuisine at The Castello Plan, showcasing the international palate that characterizes the area. For those seeking vegetarian options, the Nostrand Avenue Health Food Store serves the community with specialties like a $7 lunch veggie burger and fresh juice, a nod to the neighborhood’s health-conscious and plant-based dining trends.
The intersection of these diverse food offerings not only makes Flatbush a food lover’s delight but also represents the community’s eclectic identity. Whether it’s grabbing a bite of the Caribbean, savoring Asian flavors, or enjoying vegetarian dishes, the neighborhood’s eateries are a testament to its rich cultural tapestry and the communal spirit that binds its residents.
Transportation Options in Flatbush
Flatbush, Brooklyn, is well-served by an array of transportation options that cater to its residents and visitors, ensuring connectivity across New York City. The neighborhood’s lifeblood is Flatbush Avenue, a hub of constant activity, where the B, Q, 2, and 3 subway lines provide seamless access to various parts of the city, including the commercial heart of Manhattan. The presence of these subway lines underscores the area’s accessibility and contributes to its appeal for those commuting to work or exploring the city.
Additional subway stations like the 3 train at Sutter Ave and Saratoga Ave enhance the neighborhood’s attractiveness for potential residents and visitors, offering further convenience and mobility. These stations, strategically located within East Flatbush, allow for quick connections to the broader subway system, encompassing lines 2, 3, and 4, facilitating an easy commute to various destinations.
Moreover, the proximity of Flatbush to major airports such as John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia is noteworthy. With JFK approximately 19 minutes away and LaGuardia about 28 minutes away, residents and visitors benefit from straightforward travel options to and from these airports, which are vital transit points for both domestic and international travel.
Flatbush’s connectivity is further evidenced by its access to multiple subway lines that connect to neighboring areas like Bushwick, served by the L train, while Flatbush itself offers the 2, 5, and Q trains among its public transportation resources. This network ensures that Flatbush residents can efficiently navigate the city, whether for work, education, or leisure.
In summary, Flatbush’s transportation infrastructure is a critical component of its urban landscape, offering a comprehensive network of subway lines and close proximity to major airports, enhancing the neighborhood’s accessibility and desirability as a place to live and visit.
What Are the Main Attractions?
From the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts to the Robotic Church and street art on buildings, the attractions in Flatbush are as diverse as their population. It is also home to the historical 1920-built Kings Theater with decadent seats for over 3,000 people. For retail and a culture hub, take a stroll down the nearby Flatbush Avenue and Cortelyou Road.
The 526 acres Prospect Park bordering Flatbush is famous for picnics, sports, fishing, horseback riding, concerts, and events. It’s Brookyln’s version of Manhattan’s Central Park and has a zoo, ice rink, and the first urban-area Audubon Center. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Art Museum are also near Prospect Park.
What About the Children?
The neighborhood atmosphere and community inclusiveness through events make Flatbush very family-friendly. It also primarily consists of family houses with driveways, attached garages, and backyards.
Flatbush has multiple playgrounds for kids, including Hot Spot Tot Lot and the East Flatbush Children’s Playground. It’s also near attractions such as The Tiny Scientist, Max Adventures, and Safari Playhouse Fun Learning Center.
What to Look Out For
The neighborhood is quiet and residential but can lack a variety of amenity options. However, it is close to other areas you can easily reach.
Generally, street parking is free in Brooklyn, but take note that Flatbush is quite densely populated. There are garage options and cheap or free lots.
With this information on Flatbush, you now have what you need to decide if it’s part of your next move.
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. New York is not just a city to me; it’s a living, breathing entity. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.