Brooklyn community gets graffiti-free makeover

Graffiti-covered storefronts along Nostrand Avenue will be power washed after years of complaints from store owners, who say the urban art is hurting business.?It?s very

BROOKLYN - Graffiti-covered storefronts along Nostrand Avenue will be power washed after years of complaints from store owners, who say the urban art is hurting business.

?It?s very victimizing, it?s very demoralizing, and it?s much more empowering to have a graffiti-free neighborhood,? says Bruce Pinkney, of City Solve.

As a part of the Nostrand Avenue makeover, sponsored by Brooklyn Assemblyman Karim Camara and the Crown Heights North Association, the crews will have to buff 300 security gates, 35 walls and 75 doors.

The cleaning operation will come with a price tag of thousands of dollars, but local business owners, like Pia Raymond, say it will bring much more back to the neighborhood.

?When people walk out of their house and see the stores in the area are not attractive, they leave the community to shop,? Raymond says.

Residents say the urban art, which many consider to be urban blight, has been an eyesore in the area for years, with many storefronts becoming canvasses for graffiti taggers.

Business owner Clinton Green is relived to see the paint washed off the walls throughout the neighborhood.

Efforts will continue for one year to keep a stretch of Nostrand Avenue graffiti-free. Business owners hope that it will send a clear message to taggers that their scrawling is not wanted in the community and will be erased.

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