The unique history and evolution of Bath Beach is traced in a recent New York Times article that also focuses on the area’s real estate market.
A very long time ago, Bath Beach was a British waterside resort catering to yacht club aficionados. Today, it is a melting pot of working class Italians, Asians and Hispanics, and the beach part of Bath Beach doesn’t technically exist, having been paved over years ago to create Shore Parkway.
In the article, the Times explores the demographics of Bath Beach’s nearly 30,000 residents. While whites still comprised the majority of the area at 55 percent, the Asian and Hispanic imprint is blooming, up 70 percent in the past decade. Eric Chan, a local broker, explained what he feels accounts for the growth of the Asian population to the Times:
Mr. Chan says some Chinese buyers already own single-family homes in Bath Beach and are looking for places to accommodate multiple generations as their children marry describesand have families. Others are coming from Sunset Park in search of a quieter Brooklyn neighborhood, and still others are second-generation Chinese-Americans from Chinatown in Manhattan who want more space for their children and elderly parents. The neighborhood’s multifamily houses are especially sought after, Mr. Chan said.
The growing Hispanic imprint is reflected in the burgeoning presence of Mexican and Guatemalan parishioners attending Mass at St. Finbar Roman Catholic Church. The 133-year-old house of worship has taken to offer Mass in Spanish on Sunday afternoons and has recently begun a fund drive to build and erect a large statue honoring Archangel St. Michael, the patron saint of Totonicapán, a Guatemalan town where many churchgoers trace their roots to.
Also explored in the article is the general history of the community (Donald Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, played a crucial role in the area’s real estate development), and the prices of typical and higher-end houses (they range from $199,000 in the mid range to $1 million, being most expensive.)
There is also a breakdown of Bath Beach’s shopping options (The Gap, Marshalls, Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center) and its parks, with a focus on the 4.3-mile stretch of waterfront walkway space on the Belt Parkway Promenade, a haven for joggers and roller-bladers.
The Times describes Bath Beach as a neighborhood ideal for working families with young children, citing the high quality of elementary schools, availability of parking, backyard space and close proximity to the city and the Belt Parkway.