After the stretch-limo optimism of the 1980s was rear-ended in the financial crash of 1987, then totaled by the onset of economic depression two years later, real estate agents and urban commentators quickly began deploying the language of “degentrification” to represent the apparent reversal of urban change in the 1990s. “With the realty boom gone bust in once gentrifying neighborhoods,” writes one newspaper reporter,

co-op converters and speculators who worked the streets and avenues …have fallen on hard times. That, in turn, has left some residents complaining of poor security and shoddy maintenance, while others are unable to sell their once-pricey apartments in buildings where a bank foreclosed on a converter.