Lots of changes have already happened south of EP.
For example, on regular walks with my my dog, I have noticed that a micro neighborhood exists below the school complexes. It has three sides:
Side 1: Washington Ave, between Carroll and the shuttle tracks (the shuttle goes under Washington just before Empire)
Side 2: The shuttle tracks, between a Washington and Carroll.
Side 3: Carroll, between shuttle tracks and Washington.
Google map to see where I am talking about
On my regular walks with my dog, I have noticed that this triangle is largely composed of:
-well maintained, owner occupied, co-op buildings
-almost zero street level drug dealing and very little litter.
Basically, it is an area that I would not mind living in.
Are the present residents "rich"? No, but they do strike me as having more income than their neighbors on the eastern side of the shuttle tracks, and (despite their greater income) they have the same, limited grocery choices in their immediate area:
a. Western Beef at the corner of Washington and Empire, which involves crossing Empire and does not focus on organics.
b. The Associated at Franklin and Carroll, which does not focus on organics.
Because of a difference in housing stock (rent stabilized tenements and high rises VS prewar co-ops), the area immediately around Franklin may remain unchanged. However, I think the many of the residents of this triangle I describe will gladly walk a little eastward to Bob and Betty's 2.
In short, I think Tony will do fine based on the area's existing residents. ...he won't need further neighborhood change to survive.