Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blue-Collar High Line

The Highline Effect keeps knocking down Chelsea, and blue-collar businesses along the park have taken a few more hits, adding to the lightning-fast timeline of loss.


At 19th St. on 10th Ave., Kamco Building Materials has been completely demolished. Nothing remains but a blue plywood wall.


Soon to take its place will be a pair of giant, $40-million condo towers, rising on both sides of the High Line. The condo project is called "The Highline." Because that name hasn't been used nearly enough. Here's a rendering of the double tower to come:


One block north, on 10th Ave. stretching across the entire block from 20th to 21st Streets, a GGMC parking garage is being demolished. Not much to look at, but part of the old low-rise neighborhood just the same. It sold for $47,900,000.

The address is 500 West 21st. Originally bought by hotelier Andre Balasz, the current developer, according to the Wall Street Journal, is "Sherwood, a New York City real-estate company that developed the Times Square buildings home to the Renaissance Hotel and the M&M Store."


The Times just did a story on the condo building to come: "As the area has become more family-friendly, the building will be made up primarily of larger apartments, many measuring more than 4,000 square feet. ...units could sell for 'somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500 a square foot,' putting the price for a 4,000-square-foot three- or four-bedroom unit around $10 million."

It's only being called by its address, but shouldn't it have the word "Highline" in its name? Maybe Highline Modern or Highline 500 or HL500 or The Highliner or...how about M&M Highline?


On the next block up 10th Avenue, D&R Auto Parts is up for rent. In 2011, the owner of D&R told AMNY, "'The High Line sucks.' He said he would 'rather have my knees cut off' than take a stroll along the sylvan pathway, as his profits have dropped 35% to 40% since it opened." And now it's gone.

I started this timeline awhile back, showing the blue-collar businesses along the old tracks that have folded since the northern sector of the New Highline opened in June 2011. Time to add more to the list:

5/2013: D&R Auto Parts shuttered
5/2013: GGMC Parking Garage demolished
4/2013: Kamco Building Materials demolished for condo towers
2/2013: Evan Auto moved a block away
1/2013: Edge Auto Rental moved to Brooklyn
1/2013: Central Iron & Metal sold to Related for $65 million
12/2011: Brownfeld Auto pushed out by landlord
12/2011: Chelsea Mobil sold and shuttered for upscale retail
9/2011: Village Lukoil shuttered
9/2011: D&R Auto Parts reported 40% drop in profits since High Line opened
8/2011: Bear Auto forced out by landlord for upscale development
8/2011: Olympia Parking Garage closed when landlord quintupled the rent
6/2011: Poppy's Terminal Food Shop changed hands, later shuttered
6/2011: 10th Ave. Tire Shop pushed out for High Line development


Grand St. said...

Please don't forget the Frankenstinian 'overhaul' of the General Theological Seminary, which includes - natch - the High Line Hotel:


...and (for the sake of accuracy) the Village Lukoil is a gas station again.

Jeremiah Moss said...

yes, i saw that a new gas station went in, but didn't get a chance to take a pic. thanks for the reminder.

i also visited that HighLine hotel. so weird and creepy.

laura r. said...

do you realize that this has become a "standard" style? these corps are building like this all over hte world. so ugly, looks like the mechanical interior layer of a structure. very depressing.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Ugh! I can't even walk over there anymore. Not only have all the places I liked vanished, but I feel like an unwelcome alien.

Ed said...

Completely off topic, but these yelp heatmaps are interesting, and surprisingly accurate, as to where yuppies, hipsters, frats, and tourists dominate:


laura r. said...

now, you all should be happy when buildings @least "try" to keep some intergrity. like the grocery in little italy, or bergen st brooklyn. i never cared much for chelsea, but they do have some nice townhouses.

Anonymous said...

My question is how soon will the highline hypergentrification begin devouring Chelsea? Has it started already seeping east? Would a Quinn administration try to tear down the Chelsea-Elliott projects? Chelsea may not be an affordable neighborhood anymore, but there are a lot of rent controlled units and public housing in the area...

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised in 10-20 years if public housing in "prime" spots of Manhanttan get torn down. Chelsea, the LES, around Lincoln Center you have some projects. The developers will win and give the people vouchers to live in the Bronx or South Jamaica or maybe encourage them to leave NYC altogether. It's a matter of when not if, the market forces are too strong. I myself am leaving NYC soon. A native of 31 years, I can barely afford my studio in Queens!!

Mook said...

All the comments here seem to be from 2013, so I'm not sure if this blog is still active? Anyway,a comment from 2017 ... I just returned from a trip to NY, where I lived for many years - from the 60s through the 80s. It was the first time I'd been back in 10 years and the High Line was on my To-Do List. I was initially excited by it, but got quickly depressed as I realized that the very fact of it is destroying the last remnants of the neighborhoods it runs through. I spent a lot of time in that area in the 70s, and memories came flooding back as I gazed up at the glitzy, tacky ultra-luxurious buildings that now flank so much of it. I was glad some of the old buildings from the old neighborhood were left, but had a bad feeling if I ever visit it again it will be like walking through a tunnel of brand new luxury crap, which will be totally pointless and depressing and stupid. Thanks for this blog, I like what you're doing -