Recently I asked, "How long will the tourist machine tolerate this industrial view from the High Line's new 'viewing spur' before the Firestone Bear Auto Center is suddenly put out of business?"
Well, the answer seems to be: Not long.
A JVNY reader followed up on the question and asked one of Bear Auto's employees if they were staying or going. The employee told our tipster they have "three months to vacate. The very expensive private school that is being built between 25th and 26th, a significant contributor to the High Line" is interested in the space and Bear is "in court" with their landlord.
That school, called Avenues, just got a major profile in the Times. CNNMoney described it as having "a rooftop playground with vistas of the Empire State Building and the financial towers of Midtown -- "Look, Mommy, that's where I'll be a hedgie someday!" -- and there's a café for parents downstairs. The school's third-floor dining area will have a porch right next to the High Line."
Tuition is estimated to be about $40,000 a year.
The High Line's 26th Street Viewing Spur, which looks out over the view of Firestone Bear, was paid for in part by the school. The spur is a showpiece of the Falcone Flyover, which happens to span the width of the school building, providing a garden view to the students on their porch.
entrance to come--across from Bear Auto
We can imagine that parents paying $40,000 a year don't want to see, hear, or smell an autobody shop across from the school's "early learning center" entrance. According to our tipster's conversation with Firestone Bear's employee, the school wants to build their own parking lot here.
Who knows for sure how this will shake out, but one way or another, Bear Auto has been marked for ouster.
Winick's got a listing on the property that says it's "fully leased" and "not available," yet there's a rendering of something shiny, containing the usuals--cafe, apparel, fresh market, and skinny people--no autobody shop.
According to our tipster's source, the garage has been doing business in this location for over 30 years. The certificate of occupancy states that a gas station was here as early as 1939 and an automotive service station (with "lubritorium") came here in 1966. NYPL photos show a Sunoco here in 1940.
For over 70 years, one kind of business was on this corner. But, as predicted, as soon as the High Line comes, "undesirable" pieces of the old neighborhood must go.
Eagle Under Siege
Folsom Under High Line
The Upper High Line