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Flushing Avenue is a street running through northern Brooklyn and western Queens, beginning at Nassau Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and ending at Grand Avenue in Maspeth. It divides the neighborhood of Williamsburg from Clinton Hill and East Williamsburg from Bushwick. After crossing the Queens border, the avenue serves as the dividing line between Ridgewood, Queens and West Maspeth. Flushing Avenue then terminates in Maspeth. Despite its name, however, the avenue does not extend to Flushing.
Flushing Avenue has seen considerable decline since its heyday in the early and mid-20th century. Some sections began to gentrify, to varying degrees, at the turn of the 21st century. In 2004, the city began a project to upgrade the water and sewer infrastructure on the western part of the road, and to repave it. The project was completed in 2008.
The avenue is primarily an industrial thoroughfare, especially on its extreme western end, where it serves the Brooklyn Navy Yard Industrial Park to the north. The industrial park rents to over 200 tenants, primarily distributorships and light manufacturing concerns, though they also rent to a few artists. Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a redevelopment of the yard that would put retail space in the yard's west side and television and film studios the yard's east side. In this district, the south side of Flushing Avenue contains many abandoned business that were supported by sailors and ship workers before the government closed the yard.
Continuing eastward, Flushing Avenue crosses the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. This section of Flushing Avenue, between the expressway and Broadway, has seen considerable redevelopment over recent years by Williamsburg's Hasidic population, as young urban professionals have moved into the northern end of Williamsburg. The north side of Flushing Avenue in this section is a primarily residential area, whereas the south side is primarily industrial, the most notable exception being the Marcy Houses housing project. The Flushing Avenue subway station is at Flushing and Marcy Avenues.
Flushing Avenue forms the south side of the so-called "Broadway Triangle", bounded on the northeast by Broadway and on the west by Union Avenue, whose factories were largely abandoned shortly after the turn of the 21st century. The Triangle was rezoned as "residential" in December 2009.
The commercial heart of Flushing Avenue is the intersection with Broadway and Graham Avenue, in the extreme southern end of Williamsburg. This business improvement district is serviced by the J M trains' Flushing Avenue stop. In this area are cheap retail shopping, branches of fast-food chains, and Boricua food. This primarily Puerto Rican and Hasidic area is becoming increasingly populated with students and young professionals.
Near the intersection with Bushwick Avenue, residential Bushwick borders Flushing Avenue to the south, and the massive Bushwick Houses to the north. At Morgan and at Wyckoff Avenue, a community of artists and young professionals have moved into the low-rise lofts that were once abandoned. An effect of this gentrification was the opening of two bar-restaurants, Life Cafe and the Wreck Room, on an adjacent section of Flushing Avenue.
Continuing past Wyckoff Avenue, the avenue crosses into Queens, passes the historic Vander Ende-Onderdonk House Site (formerly in Brooklyn, now Queens), and becomes actively industrial on both sides. Upon entering Maspeth, it is a residential street.
The B57 bus runs the entire length of the avenue. There are two New York City Subway stations along Flushing Avenue. The G train stops at Flushing Avenue and Union Avenue. The J M trainsstop at Flushing Avenue and Broadway. The L train also stops nearby at the Jefferson Street station.