Research Paper (undergraduate), 2017
39 Pages, Grade: A
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
DELIMITATIONS AND CALL FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
Background: Boyle Heights, Gentrification, and Activists
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Figure 1: Map ofBovle Heights. LosAngeles Times, Author's Screenshot
Boyle Heights is a Los Angeles neighborhood situated in the Eastside region of the Los Angeles County. Originally a cross-cultural ghetto that served as a refuge for non-Anglo minority ethnicities, including Jews, Latinos, African-Americans, and Japanese, it is today, after the elimination oflegal segregation, a predominantly Latino, Spanish-speaking neighborhood with a rich cultural history (Alcazar; "An Examination"). Latinos, mostly from Mexico, represent 94% of the 99,243 inhabitants and the median income is $33,235 -low for both the city of Los Angeles and forthe county ("An Examination"; "Boyle Heights"). Furthermore, around 76% of the residents are renters while only 24% are homeowners ("An Examination"; "Boyle Heights").
Boyle Heights presents a few distinctive important characteristics: it has a strong artistic presence, has relatively affordable housing, and is situated on the Metro Gold Line as well as in proximity to the Arts District, a Downtown Los Angeles area that has seen a massive economic revival ("Promise"; "An Examination"; Gross). Notably because of these factors, Boyle Heights is the site of a considerable amount of development activity: seeing that Downtown has become much too expensive for many to rent or buy, real estate agents, investors, and developers, through the pouring in of investments, are hoping to make Boyle Heights the next hot spot (Barragan, "Boyle Heights Freaks"; "Eastside"; Chiland; Mejia). These initiatives are considered as attempts to spur gentrification, which is defined as the neighborhood evolutionary process in which distressed neighborhoods experience an influx of capital (Murdoch et al., "Gentrification, Displacement").
Unfortunately, gentrification can have negative side effects for local residents and business owners, including displacement and eviction. While only being present on a small scale in Boyle Heights, the full effects of gentrification have already been felt in neighboring communities (Ahn). In fact, former Latino enclaves, including Silver Lake and Echo Park, have seen economic turnarounds due to gentrification: they are now 'trendy' neighborhoods, much too expensive for the low-income original residents, displaced bythe rising costs ofliving ("An Examination"; Carroll; Gross; Brand).
Fearing a similar future, local residents in Boyle Heights have been fighting hard against gentrification, unwilling to succumb to its negative consequences. Local activist groups such as Union de Vecinos, Backyard Brigade, Defend Boyle Heights (DBH), and Boyle Heights Alliance AgainstArtwashing and Displacement (BHAAAD) show their disapproval of the new unwanted flood of money and outsiders through the means of protests, legal arguments, and even violence (Wick).
Today, art galleries have become the main target for anti-gentrification activists. The groups DBH and BHAAAD have proved to be especially hostile towards these outsiders, leading numerous protests, rallies, and disruptive actions against them: tagging galleries; placing mock eviction notices on the doors of galleries; posting signs reading "Keep Beverly Hills Out ofBoyle Heights" (Aron; Medina; Miranda). The message is thus clear, and as summarized in the words ofMaga Miranda, an activist involved with DBH, the group has "one pretty simple demand", "which is for all art galleries in Boyle Heights to leave immediately" (Aron).
This hostility towards art galleries spurs from the belief that art galleries are the driving forces behind displacement and gentrification. In fact, over a period of three years, more than a dozen art galleries, many originally from NewYork, have established themselves in Boyle Heights (Miranda). These art galleries are attracted by the affordability of space and the proximity to the strong art scene in Downtown LA, which they hope to make Boyle Heights an expansion of. While gallerists see an opportunity to considerably increase the size of their galleries by taking advantage oflow rent, many local residents see a vicious threat (Wick; Medina). For one, much of the opposition worries that, as these art galleries are not from Boyle Heights, they could be responsible for the loss of Mexican culture in the community (Miranda; Medina). According to Josefina Lopez, a local Boyle Heights business-owner: "artists who didn’t grow up in Boyle Heights  look at Boyle Heights as a blank canvas. They don’t realize they are painting over another work of art" (Miranda). Furthermore, and even more source of distress, activists adamantly believe that art galleries, forerunners of real-estate speculation conscious solely of profit, are the driving forces behind displacement and eviction. Indeed, according to many activists, the arrival of art galleries is accompanied by an increase in the value of properties as the area becomes more attractive to outsiders, which translates into an increased threat of displacement and eviction (Aron; Jones; Barragan, "Boyle Heights Activists").
Gentrification in cities and downtown districts throughout the world, and notably throughout the United States, is a phenomenon that continues to affect countless residents and economies alike. Importantly, gentrification is often understood as being a process that includes numerous stages. Artists and art galleries are today, for their part, considered by many to be driving forces behind each of these stages of gentrification, active agents that spur neighborhood change (Cameron; Deutsche; Ley; Silver; Zukin). As most commonly told, art galleries settle in disinvested, low-income urban areas (notably post-industrial downtown neighborhoods), attracted by the low rent as well as the aesthetics and space offered by the aging industrial warehouses and historic buildings (Ley; Silver). In turn, this new artistic presence is accompanied by the arrival of modest-income individuals, who find appeal, like the galleries, in both the low rent and the authenticity of these neighborhoods (Ley; Silver; Zukin). Art galleries tend to cluster, and soon enough, the establishment of the first few foot-soldier galleries leads to the arrival of many more. This strong artistic presence considerably participates in the creation of a 'bohemian' atmosphere, further increasing the economic value of the neighborhoods through new investments as well as small-scale artistic businesses such bars, cafes, and restaurants. The stage thus set for a new phase of gentrification, higher-income working individuals become now attracted to the authenticity of the neighborhoods, leading once again to a rise in capital accumulation (Zukin). As the process continues, the neighborhoods become transformed by the luxury development projects of the government, developers, realtors, and property investors, which target affluent costumers. The neighborhoods’ skylines dominated by new high- rises, displacement and eviction become rampant as original inhabitants and businesses can no longer afford the living and renting costs of the once low-income areas from which they have been forced out (Zukin; Deutsche; Ley; Smith, "The New"; Cameron; Moy). Art galleries and an artistic presence are thus branded as responsible for changing the character of a neighborhood, in return spurring gentrification.
However, not all researchers have come to the same conclusion in regards to gallery-led gentrification. In fact, while some have found a strong link between art galleries and gentrification, others have found, atbest, very little concrete evidence that this link actually exists. Such conflicting outcomes are due to the fact that most research available is highly contextualized, usually case-study works focusing on a specific neighborhood or city. Thus, results vary depending on the neighborhood studied: each neighborhood is unique and has varying specific characteristics (relative location, history, demography for example) that must be taken into consideration and ultimately participate in shaping the end results. As accurate generalization remains near impossible, it is difficult to confidently state that there is a gallery-led gentrification taking place in Boyle Heights, the Los Angeles neighborhood east of Downtown Los Angeles, without analysis of available data. Many newspaper articles as well as local activist groups seem to assume that such is the case; my initial assumption was therefore that galleries were indeed sources of gentrification in Boyle Heights. However, concrete evidence and data pertaining specifically to Boyle Heights is lacking. We thus ask the following question: have art galleries spurred gentrification in Boyle Heights?
This question is especially important for the residents and activists ofBoyle Heights: many who actively fight gentrification in Boyle Heights are attacking art galleries, branding them as the foot-soldiers of gentrification. This study will thus hopefully reveal whether or not these activists are actually fighting against the right source of gentrification. It will quell debate over whether art galleries, as claimed by many local gallerists, are simply innocent bystanders or, as claimed by local residents, actually active gentrifying agents in Boyle Heights. This revelation is imperative if activists hope to successfully combat gentrification in their neighborhood: winning such a battle requires the proper identification of the gentrifying agent; the results of this study will hopefully be able to either disqualify or positively identify art galleries as the harbingers of neighborhood change, thus indicative of whether or not activists are on the right path in regards to their anti- gentrification strategy.
Review ofLiterature: the relationship between neighborhood change and art galleries Extensive research has attempted to understand the nature of art galleries’ role in gentrification, and with various and sometimes contradicting findings. In fact, much literature exists in support of the traditional concept that art galleries are 'gentrifying agents’: researchers have argued that art galleries play the role of 'colonizing arms’, necessary in sparking the initial stages of arts-led gentrification (Zukin; Mathews; Ley; Seresinhe; Deutsche). In regards to Boyle Heights, this stream of research would support the activists’ claim that the presence of art galleries does indeed lead to gentrification. According to this view, galleries are responsible for converting the existing buildings of a neighborhood from lower-value uses, usually industrial spaces, to higher-value uses (Zukin; Mathews; Ley; Seresinhe; Deutsche). Thus, the visual blight of the neighborhood reduced, more affluent households as well as businesses are drawn in. Distinctions in research can also be made concerning the analysis of the effects of gallery-led gentrification. The majority of research points towards this gentrification as source of displacement and eviction of lower-income long-time residents and business owners as galleries remake the city in their own image without consideration for the locals (Zukin; Deutsche; Ley;
Smith, "The New"; Cameron; Moy). Communityties destroyed and economic inequality heightened, the availability of affordable housing suffers greatly, finding itself replaced instead by the creation of privatized bubbles aimed at attracting a higher-income creative class. Another stream of research suggests however that gallery-led gentrification is positive for a city. For one, Freeman, a peer-reviewed scholar, found that, by comparing the mobility and displacement of gentrifying neighborhoods and similar non-gentrifying neighborhoods, the relationship between gentrification and displacement is found to be only modest ("Displacement"). Similarly, through the analysis of four distinct communities, peer- reviewed author Brown-Sacaracino demonstrates that many gentrifiers actually search to preserve the local authenticity of neighborhoods and to minimize their negative impact on residents. Moreover, according to Silver and Miller, there is in general a strong correlation between rising local wages and artist populations, thus spurring local economic growth. Further, Freeman and Braconi found that "neighborhood gentrification in New York City was actually associated with a lower propensity of disadvantaged house-holds to move", thus concluding that "gentrification brings with it neighborhood improvement that are valued by disadvantaged households": these households "consequently make greater efforts to remain in in their dwelling units, even if the proportion of their income devoted to rent rises".
On the other hand, a newer wave of research has suggested that the arrival of art galleries does not necessarily spur gentrification. This is important to take into consideration for my own research: the art galleries in Boyle Heights can look towards this research as evidence that their claim of innocence in regards to the gentrification in the neighborhood must not be disregarded. For one, Grodach, Murdoch, and Foster found that "arts industry growth is the weakest in gentrifying areas and it is gentrification that predicts art growth in most contexts" ("Gentrification, Displacement"). Thus, art galleries would not play a significant role in gentrification due to the fact that they are more likely than not to cluster in well- off, already-gentrified areas near clients and similar industries. Further, in a subsequent study, Grodach, Foster, and Murdoch found that "the arts are not inextricably linked to either gentrification or revitalization" ("Gentrification and the”). As a matter of fact, the results of this study do not imply that art districts attract development or gentrification, since no findings suggested that the fine arts are associated with gentrification or rapid growth but rather with revitalization (Murdoch et al. "Gentrification and the”). Similarly, other researchers, notably Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa, also view the arts as mediums of neighborhood revitalization without gentrification, benefitting long-time residents by generating economic gain and addingvalue to the regional and local economies: art galleries and other art groups have the capability of attracting tourists and a creative work class, as well as ofbringing productivity-increasing skills.
All in all, reviewing the literature has permitted me to determine that the phenomenon of arts-led gentrification cannot be applied to every neighborhood or city, but rather varies with the area in question. This is essential to take into consideration in my paper as it is evidence that generalization remains difficult and thus that research is truly necessary in order to determine whether or not art galleries have spurred gentrification in Boyle Heights specifically.
Method: Analyzing the data
In order to determine whether or not a link exists between art galleries and gentrification in Boyle Heights, I performed a quantitative analysis of the percentage of change in residential and commercial pricing in Boyle Heights between pre-2015, 2015-2017, and 2017. Further, to prove the relevance and validity of my question, I demonstrated through analysis of data and trends that there has been gentrification in Boyle Heights.
My first initiative was to establish an up to date list of all of the art galleries in the area. For each gallery found, I took into account its name, address, date of opening, owner, and, if available, other locations where the gallery is open. I first retrieved the name of each gallery and the total number of galleries on Google Maps. However, to assure that these findings were reliable and that no galleries were missing, I went to Boyle Heights to verify for myself. With this information, I was able to create a map of the location of art galleries in Boyle Heights and to determine whether or not there were any visible trends in support of the gentrification phenomenon. It should also be noted that the neighborhood map of Boyle Heights provided by Google Maps is outdated, and I therefore used the map provided by the Los Angeles Times.
Furthermore, as a factor of gentrification, I decided to look at the change in market value for both residential and commercial properties. This is an ideal indicator of the phenomenon notably since gentrification is often associated with an increase in property prices (Zukin; Mathews; Ley; Seresinhe; Deutsche). In this vein,
I created an excel spreadsheet establishing the building prices and land prices by square foot in Boyle Heights. Since Boyle Heights is comprised of three zip codes (90023, 90033, and 90063), I divided the data by zip code and determined the average prices for commercial and residential buildings and land by square foot in each area zip code. I additionally established the overall prices for commercial as well as residential buildings and land per square foot in Boyle Heights as a whole by calculating the average of all the raw data compiled for each situation, a method used to remain precise. I was able to acquire this pricing information through the use of"MyFirstAM", the leading national provider of current and detailed property data, and "Loopnet", the most heavily trafficked and comprehensive commercial real estate online company. It must be noted that certain pricing values are not included in my research, as they have not yet been published. As for the compilation and analysis, itwas done on excel. I decided to take into consideration both property types due to the fact that the art gallery opposition has two principle worries: displacement from their homes because of rising prices, as well as the eviction of local businesses. Further, I compared the pre-2015 building and land property prices by square foot for each area zip code and property type with the 2015-2016 prices and the current 2017 market prices. This decision stems from the fact that many of the controversial newcomer galleries have established themselves in Boyle Heights in 2015 and 2016. Thus, if an increase in price should occur in the area, the most significant difference would be found by comparing the 2015-2016 and pre- 2015 prices. Finally, I was able, with this information, to calculate the percentage of change between pre-2015 and 2015-2016, and between 2015-2016 and the current market by using the following formula of elasticity: (End average price - Initial average price) / Initial average price* 100 = % of change. By analyzing the percentages of change, I was ultimately led to hypothesis whether or not art galleries have been associated with gentrification in the neighborhood: if there has been a sharp increase in prices during the time that coincides with the arrival of galleries, then one could assume that the galleries have been the source of this increase; if not, then such a hypothesis would be discredited.
However, I realize that the percentages of change found may not actually be indicators of gentrification in Boyle Heights: they could simply be products of a natural inflation, or "the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services [rises] and consequently, the purchasing power of currency [falls]", increasing the price of properties ("Inflation"). In order to determine whether or not this is the case, I decided to identify the average pre-2015, 2015-2016, and current 2017 building prices per square foot for residential and commercial properties for the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This data was found through the use of "Redfin", the most popular brokerage, and "Loopnet". Missing data signifies that these values have not been yet been made available. Also, I decided to only use the building price per square foot since it is more reflective of how residents and business-owners buy: in general, they purchase buildings rather than land. This data then allowed me to establish the change between pre-2015 and 2015-2016 and between 2015-2016 and 2017. Ultimately, I was able to compare these percentages with the percentages found specific for Boyle Heights, thus indicative of the presence or absence of gentrification: if the percentages of change found in Boyle Heights are far superior to those found in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, then one can conclude that since the majority of the market did not go through the same increase in prices, there has been gentrification; however, if the percentages remain relatively equal, then the increase in prices found in Boyle Heights would be normal, thus making it inaccurate to assume that there has been gentrification.
Moreover, through the use of the pricing information I recuperated on Boyle Heights, I put together, using "Mapline", an online website that allows users to easily create maps from excel spread sheet data, four different heat maps that serve as visual representations of the change in commercial and residential pricing in Boyle Heights. Once again, I decided to only use the building prices per square foot since, as previously stated, it is more reflective of the common tendency. As a base map, I used the map I had previously put together of Boyle Heights in which the locations of the art galleries are represented. Two of the maps correspond to the pre-2015 residential and commercial prices, while the other two correspond to 2015 residential and commercial prices. By comparing the pre-2015 residential map with the 2015 residential map, and the pre-2015 commercial map with the 2015 one, I would clearly be able to identify in a visual manner if the presence of art galleries is in fact associated with rising prices and thus gentrification: if a higher market value in 2015 (compared to the pre-2015 value) corresponds to the area in which most art galleries are located, then a positive relationship exists; if not, then only a weak correlation or none at all exist between art galleries and gentrification.
Findings and Analysis
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Figure 2: Map qfBovle Heights containing the location qfthe artgalleries
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Figure3: Table qfartgalleries, theirlocation, and theirdate qfopening in Boyle Heights
In Boyle Heights, there are a total of 17 art galleries, 14 out of which are located in a cluster along the Los Angeles River (figure 2; figure 3). Importantly, this cluster is situated in a formerly old industrial zone of little attraction for wealthier residents. In fact, PSST, Maccarone, 356 Mission, Venus Over Los Angeles, MaRs, and Ibid gallery are all converted warehouses (Kennedy; Ryzik; Tarmy, "365"; Pogrebin; "About the Gallery"; "Los Angeles"). Further, many of these art galleries are new to the neighborhood: Nicodim and Little Big Man gallery were opened in 2014; Maccarone, Corey Helford gallery, Venus over Los Angeles, Chimento Contemporary, and MaRs were all opened in 2015; Parrasch Heijnen gallery, Ibid gallery, Sage Projects, and PSSST were opened in as recently as 2016. Moreover, several of the newcomer galleries were already well-established businesses before opening in Boyle Heights, first located in other cities around the world. This is the case for: Venus over Los Angeles, whose owner, Adam Lindenmann, also owns Venus Over Manhattan on Madison Avenue; Parrasch Heijnen, whose owner, Franklin Parrasch, has owned 6 NewYork galleries prior to his Los Angeles venture; Maccarone, whose owner, Michele Maccarone, is originally a prominent NewYork gallerist; Ibid gallery, first a London-based gallery ("Venus"; Greenberger; Tarmy, "Meet"; "Los Angeles"). These galleries, already recognized in the art world, thus represent more expensive artists, consequently attracting a wealthier clientele who can afford to purchase higher priced pieces. This recent influx and clustering of wealthy newcomers is in perfect alignment with the definition of gentrification: more established businesses catering to a wealthier clientele are beginning to settle in an area that was once of little interest but has recently gained a new attraction. This serves as evidence that the phenomenon is taking place in Boyle Heights.
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Figure 4: Table ofthe sales rates in $/BSFand percentage ofprice change in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
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$/BSF: building price per square foot
$/LSF: land price per square foot
Figure 5: Table ofsales rates and percentages ofprice change in Boyle Heights
Comparison between the average price increase in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area and that of Boyle Heights can further be used as a more concrete method of determining whether or not gentrification is taking place in Boyle Heights (figure 4; figure 5). The residential building prices per square foot in the Los Angeles metropolitan area increased from $550 prior to 2015 to $575 in 2015-2015, resulting in a change of 5%. Similarly, the commercial buildings prices saw a change of 9% between pre-2015 to 2015-2016, increasing from $275 in pre-2015 to $300 in 2015-2016, and of 8.3% between 2015-2016 and 2016, ultimately reaching $324. However, the data recorded for Boyle Heights does not follow the same trend: the overall commercial properties have experienced a change of 77% in building prices from pre-2015 to 2015-2016, increasing from $115 to $203, while residential properties have experienced a 45% increase for that same time period, increasing from $158 to $229. Further, there has been a recorded change of 32% and 30% between the 2015-2016 and current 2017 commercial and residential building prices respectively. By comparing the Los Angeles percentages of change with those pertaining to Boyle Heights, it becomes immediately evident that, for both commercial and residential properties and for both time frames, Boyle Heights has experienced a dramatically superior increase in pricing. Considering that the Los Angeles price change corresponds to the natural average growth in percentage increase of the metropolitan area, the substantially higher Boyle Heights increases support the claim that there has been speculation and gentrification in the neighborhood.
Furthermore, the percentages of increase in pricing in Boyle Heights can also be analyzed in relation to the art galleries: their arrival coincides with a notable increase in commercial as well as residential prices for buildings and land between pre-2015 and 2015-2016 in each of the three zip codes. As most of the art galleries arrived in the neighborhood around the year 2015, one could hypothesize that the high percentage of change in pricing has been stimulated by the presence of the galleries. This seems to be especially true for commercial properties, as commercial buildings and land have experienced the most dramatic increases: commercial properties recoded a change of 77% and 74% in the price ofbuildings and land respectively, compared to the 45% increase in the price ofbuildings and the 40% increase in land experienced by residential properties.
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Figure 6: Heat map of Boyle Heights pre-2015 commercial value
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Figure 7: Heat map of Boyle Heights 2015 commercial value
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Figure 8: Heat map of Boyle Heights pre2015׳ residential value
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Figure 9: Heat map of Boyle Heights 2015 residential value
Through the use of a heat map, the extent to which this hypothesis is true can be determined. As shown on the map representing the commercial value prior to 2015, the areas in Boyle Heights corresponding to the highest commercial values are in no way correlated to the current location of the art galleries (figure 6). Considering that the majority of the art galleries were not yet established prior to 2015, it is certain that art galleries did not influence the value of properties in the neighborhood at that time. However, come 2015-2016, when by that time most of the galleries have been established, the pattern has noticeably changed: while the pre-2015 high value density areas remain more or less present in 2015, a new high value corridor has appeared, coinciding perfectly with the cluster of art galleries along the river (figure 7). This shift is thus critically important to my research as it validates the hypothesis that art galleries are driving forces of gentrification in regards to commercial properties: in this case, the arrival of art galleries is associated with an increase in commercial property prices where there was previously (prior to the opening of galleries) no increase, transforming this area into a high value density area. Further, when looking at the residential values in Boyle Heights prior to 2015, there is once again no apparent correlation between the cluster of art galleries that exists today and high values: the heat was spread out, scattered throughoutthe neighborhood (figure 8). However, in 2015-2016, higher residential values have shifted towards the cluster of art galleries as a desirable heat pocket has been formed near them (figure 9). While the phenomenon is less pronounced than for commercial properties, art galleries still affect the price of residential properties.
Boyle Heights has seen percentages of increase in both residential and commercial property pricing for both land and buildings that greatly surpass those of the Los Angeles metropolitan average. Along with the presence of distinctive trends, one could therefore conclude that there is gentrification in the neighborhood. This gentrification, through further analysis, can be linked to art galleries: the year that most art galleries arrived in Boyle Heights coincides with the year that experienced the most dramatic increase in prices. Importantly, it was the commercial properties that witnessed the highest increases in pricing, and the area in which the prices visibly increased coincides perfectly with the location of the cluster of galleries. Thus, it can be deduced that the art galleries were the drivers of the increase in pricing of commercial properties and further, that this increase in commercial properties led to an increase in pricing in residential properties: as the art galleries brought an attractive 'cool' factor to a historically older, more dilapidated industrial area, the commercial prices shot up, followed then by an increase in residential property prices. While the percentage of change for residential pricing may be less in absolute terms, it must nevertheless not be neglected: the percentage of increase in the pricing of residential properties is still a very significant number, much greater than the average percentage of increase for the Los Angeles metropolitan average, and thereby creates a pertinent link between art galleries, commercial value, and residential value. Consequently, the establishment of art galleries has, by a process of chain reaction, strongly influenced both the residential and commercial real estate dynamic of Boyle Heights.
Therefore, according to the results found in this study, the economic change that took place in Boyle Heights corresponds to the phenomenon of gallery-led gentrification. This validates the claim of activists that art galleries are spurring gentrification and does not disqualify their strategy of protesting against art galleries in order to slow down this gentrification. However, it must also be noted that art galleries themselves should not systematically be blamed for directly causing gentrification: it is very possible that they themselves are not responsible for gentrification, but rather the tendency of their presence and the artistic 'cool' factor they bring to a neighborhood to stimulate investments and development from speculators. This leaves open a more subtle research question regarding the role of art galleries in the gentrification of Boyle Heights: Is it the art gallery itself that is source of gentrification in Boyle Heights, or is it rather its unintentional, investment- stimulating presence and 'vibe' that is responsible for the economic change?
Delimitations and call for further research
It must be noted that this study presents two delimitations worthy of mention, and thus leaves open two possible research questions. For one, only art galleries were taken into consideration as source of gentrification in Boyle Heights, and no consideration of or comparison with other possible gentrifying agents was done. Indeed, other noteworthy transformations in the neighborhood, such as the establishment of a light rail subway station in Mariachi Plaza, were not accounted for. Also important, this study does not consider the impact of the rapid development of Downtown Los Angeles and the Arts District as a factor of the gentrification, although Boyle Heights’ proximity to this area, its accessibility, and its cheaper accommodations could very possibly have stimulated an increase in pricing. This delimitation exists due to time constraints and workload, as accounting for other gentrifying agents would certainly have considerably increased the size and length of the research project. Future studies however may ask themselves: Is gentrification in Boyle Heights due to a combination of factors? If so, what role do the art galleries play in this gentrification in comparison to other gentrifying agents? Further, this research presents only one factor of gentrification, changes in property values. This choice stems once again for time and work constraint. Nevertheless, in the future, studies hoping to come to a more solid and supported conclusion could attempt to extend their analysis in order to include other socio-economic aspects of urban economic change. This could include displacement rates oflong-established locals and artists, changes in the neighborhood’s character, or the changes in the demographics of the neighborhood (Gentrification).
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