The Real Deal New York

Willets Point owners eye Hunts Point, Maspeth relocations

December 02, 2013 03:25PM

From left: Body shops in Willets Point and a rendering of the Willets Point redevelopment

From left: Body shops in Willets Point and a rendering of the Willets Point redevelopment

Soon-to-be-displaced business owners in Willets Point have one eye on the Bronx and another on Maspeth as possible sites for their relocation.

The Related Companies and Sterling Equities’ $3 billion redevelopment of Willets Point, green-lighted by City Council in October, will replace a smattering of auto body repair shops out of the area to make way for a megamall on the western parking lot of Citi Field. As possible alternatives, those business owners are considering a 15,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx and have also reportedly looked at a space in Maspeth.

The Sunshine Cooperative, a for-profit group jointly controlled by 52 Willets Point auto body businesses, told DNAinfo that it is in negotiations with the Hunts Point property landlord but that nothing has been finalized.

“We have to make sure to stay together,” Sergio Aguirre, an organizer with the collective, told DNAinfo. “We have to really sign the place — then get an engineer, architect, in order to relocate all of the shops.” [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland

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