When Shalom Gurgov began looking to buy a house 18 months ago, he had hoped to find something close to where he was renting in Borough Park, or perhaps a place in Kensington, where his parents live. But he saw quickly that staying in either neighborhood wasn’t in the cards.
“The prices were too high, or if the price was right, the condition was bad,” he said. The 32-year-old computer programmer and father of four eventually found himself looking in Marine Park, the South Brooklyn neighborhood named for the adjacent 530-acre wildlife preserve and city park that has a golf course, cricket fields, playgrounds and sports fields.
“I noticed there were a lot of young families. We felt like we would fit right in,” he said. In October he and his family moved to a house on Avenue P and East 36th Street, and he hasn’t looked back. “There are playgrounds for the kids. Marine Park itself is close by. It’s pretty quiet. It’s like the suburbs of Brooklyn,” he said.
Gurgov is not alone. In recent years, hundreds of Orthodox families have moved to Marine Park, looking for affordable housing that is walking distance from their families living in Midwood and Flatbush and the kosher amenities offered there. Between the late 1990s and today, the number of Orthodox synagogues in the neighborhood shot up from two to 16, and a second Jewish Community Council of Marine Park building opened in January.
The approximately 1-mile square neighborhood is just west of Midwood and Sheepshead Bay, roughly bordered by Kings Highway to the north, Flatbush Avenue to the east, Avenue U to the south and Nostrand and Gerritsen avenues to the West.
Read the full report at THE JEWISH WEEK.