High Line Wrecks 90-Year-Old Auto Body Shop

It’s a good thing no one drives in Manhattan, because pretty soon there will be nowhere for repairs. (PropertyShark)

The High Line has been held up as a dynamo of economic development, generating billions of dollars in new condos, boutiques and restaurant, even attracting a museum or two to a lot where cattle carcasses once hung. It’s such a big deal, there’s no room for the little guys.

Alan Brownfield has run the auto body shop his grandfather founded in 1920 for decades now, but his family business was ruined in a matter of years by a few concrete benches, wildflowers and tourists, according to the Post. “I’m getting pushed out . . . [The park] has been a nightmare,” he tells the tabloid.

“My grandfather started the business in 1920, horse-and-buggy time. There were no cars. He was doing the leaf springs on carriages. And now they want me out? Please.”

Brownfeld said his lease ends today — but that he’s not going down without a fight. “I will pay my rent. If [the landlord] does not take it, I put it in an escrow account,” Brownfeld said, adding that he pays $15,000 a month for the 50-foot-by-100-foot lot. I’m going to fight this until the judge’s gavel slams down and says I have to vacate the premises.”

“I want to leave with head held high, not pushed out by the city, not pushed out by the landlord, not being thrown out because of a stupid park.”

Robert Hammond, one of the co-founders of Friends of the High Line tells the Post that “We enjoy the way the auto-body shop fits into the cityscape and makes the view from the High Line so interesting” but it appears the 2005 rezoning of the area makes it too enticing not to just throw up another condo.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

High Line Wrecks 90-Year-Old Auto Body Shop