Since the second part of the High Line opened in June 2011, the neighborhood's small businesses have suffered and dropped like flies, especially those blue-collar businesses catering to car, truck, and taxi drivers. Here's a quick roundup:
6/2011: Poppy's Terminal Food Shop changes hands, later shutters
6/2011: 10th Ave. Tire Shop is pushed out for High Line development
8/2011: Bear Auto forced out by landlord for upscale development
8/2011: Olympia Parking Garage closes when landlord quintuples the rent
9/2011: Village Lukoil shutters
9/2011: D&R Auto Parts reports 40% drop in profits since High Line opened
12/2011: Brownfeld Auto pushed out by landlord
12/2011: Chelsea Mobil sold and shuttered for upscale retail
We can add Kamco Building Materials to the list, as it will be replaced by a pair of giant, $40-million condo towers.
The Real Deal reported the news in October but didn't mention Kamco. They said, "The two-towered project will have about 90,000 square feet of residential space--condominiums with the possibility of some rentals as well--rising both east and west of the tracks," because "apartments looking directly on the High Line are more valuable."
It's possible that few people will care about the disappearance of a business that sells plywood, drywall sheets, insulation, and some pretty snazzy hardhats.
Still, it's part of a larger story, one in which the High Line is like the asteroid responsible for the K-T Impact Event that wiped out the dinosaurs in a mass extinction, but the High Line is wiping out a neighborhood and its long-time dominant businesses.
One other thing--all these businesses are in open lots or single-story buildings. Above them, there's nothing but blue sky, blocked only by the ever-rising luxury towers. That will soon be gone, too.