There are not a lot of growing areas in the New York area in 2023. Most of those are well out of the city proper, and a lot are across state lines. That said, there are pockets of growth and evolution in certain areas of the boroughs that are very worth highlighting.
For this analysis, we studied population flow for four growing New York area zip codes: 11224 (Coney Island), 11239 (Spring Creek, Brooklyn), 11530 (Garden City), and 11753 (Jericho). Each of these areas has seen a net positive migration flow from January 2022 through March 2023, and each is making economic gains as a result, though their individual stories vary significantly.
In each case, we will start with a high level view of the zip code as it sits today and the demography of the new people moving in. Then, we will compare and contrast those demographics with the current population to find indicators as to how things are evolving in each area, and suggest what that may mean to real estate developers and retail brands that may want to invest here.
11224 - Coney Island
The population of 11224 (Coney Island) grew by about 0.9% over 2022, with a net migration flow of ~441 people inbound. Most people who move here are from the surrounding city area, with Sheepshead Bay the top point of origin.
Newcomers to Coney Island in 2022 were about 34 years old and earned $56,054 in average median income, still ~$22k less than the Kings County average, but enough to bring $25 million in new money to the zip code within 15 months.
By contrast, longer term residents of Coney Island are about 48 years old and earn $37,241 in average median income — that’s about $19k less than the newcomers are bringing with them to the neighborhood. It’s clear that Coney Island is now attracting a younger and more affluent demographic.
These are people with young careers and perhaps young families who are seeking a different urban living experience. They are sophisticated enough to understand the pros and cons of different NY neighborhoods, they have consciously chosen 11224, and there are more of them coming.
They will need more and revived housing options, and they will demand different experiences from both public spaces and retailers in the neighborhood. In short, Coney Island is growing, and perhaps in the early stages of its regentrification.
11239 - Spring Creek (Brooklyn)
The population of 11239 (Spring Creek, Brooklyn) grew by a whopping 4.1% from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, with a net migration flow of 533 people inbound. Most people who move here come from other neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Kings County.
On average, newcomers to Spring Creek over 2022 were 32 years old and earned $60,609 in average median income, still about $10k less than the Kings County average, but enough to bring $32 million in new money to the zip code since January 2022.
By contrast, longer term residents of Spring Creek are about 46 years old and earned $33,736 in average median income — just about half of what the newcomers are earning. Like Coney Island, it’s very clear that Spring Creek is quickly attracting a younger and more affluent demographic.
Most of the people who live here are Black, as are most of the people who are moving here. When we consider that many are coming from other inner city neighborhoods, what we interpret is an urban community that’s transplanting, evolving and stepping-up.
Young Black people who have grown up in the area and found some early success in life are choosing to settle here and grow with the community. They’re investing at a neck-deep level: in real estate, in small businesses, and in community projects.
This is a large and highly influential demographic to enter this market and their effect on Spring Creek’s evolution over the next decade will be massive. A couple predictions: 1) The demand for family housing in this largely vertical environment will skyrocket. 2) Larger brands will have to compete for foot traffic with local consumers highly oriented towards community-based businesses.
11530 - Garden City
The population of 11430 (Garden City) grew by 1.6% from Q1 2022 through Q1 2023, with a net migration flow of 471 people inbound. Most people who move here come from connected zip codes in Hempstead or Floral Park, both of which have a much lower median income than Garden City.
On average, newcomers to Garden City are 35 years old and earned $88,036 in average median income in 2022. That’s about $11k more than the Nassau County average, and enough to add about $41 million in new income to the zip code.
By contrast, longer term residents of Garden City are about 42 years old and earned $169,333 in average median income in 2022 — nearly twice what the newcomers are earning. So, while the economic tally of the zip code on the whole is rising, median average income here is on the decline.
This is an affluent part of the New York area; for many years an option for those with the income to live in the city but the desire to live outside of it. About two thirds of households here have kids. These more embedded residents probably used to commute, and now they’re working from home and watching their families grow, maybe starting something new of their own. The newcomers here will have similar objectives based on our demographic data.
They are young, professional, and already living on the island or somewhere on the edges of urban life. They have a taste for certain brands and a certain lifestyle and the growing means to pursue them. They will seek value, but quality, and they will invest in their new lives with foresight and acumen, just not yet at the quite the same level as older residents here may.
11753 - Jericho
The population of 11753 (Jericho) grew by about 2.2% from Q1 2022 through Q1 2023, with a net migration flow of 283 people inbound. Many people who move here come from 11801 — the more densely populated Ricksville area just to the south of Jericho.
On average, newcomers to Jericho are 33 years old and earned $81,525 in average median income in 2022. That’s about $4k more than the Nassau County average, and enough to add about $23 million in new income to the zip code.
By contrast, longer term residents of Garden City are about 43 years old and earned $162,043 in average median income in 2022 — about twice what the newcomers are earning. So, much like Garden City, we see a relatively younger demographic of comparatively lesser but presumably increasing means moving to the area.
They are most likely escaping more crowded environments while remaining close to their previous homes; this looks like young people and new families looking to branch out on their own while remaining close to the people and things they are connected to. It seems unlikely their brand choices will have much impact based on such a short jump, but their demand for affordable family housing and public services and spaces most certainly will. If they’re not happy with the move in a couple years time, there could be a future migration whiplash effect similar to what we’ve seen in places like Austin, Texas.
While Coney Island and Spring Creek, Brooklyn are growing, they are also becoming younger and wealthier. Garden City and Jericho are also growing and getting younger, but those areas are going through a reversal of economic means, portending a significant shift in housing markets and the free cash flow of future residents.
While the conditions in these markets for real estate investors, developers and retailers are quite different, there is clear indication of opportunity in each. There may not be much room left to build in Coney Island or Brooklyn, but someone is going to have to figure it out, because people are coming.
In Garden City and Jericho, it’s going to be less about finding room for people, and more about dialing-in a lifestyle and environment that skates the razor's edge between urban and suburban.
You can do your own migration and foot traffic analysis on these and other zip codes, cities, counties and states by registering for Unacast Insights. Please connect if you’d like to know more.