Chelsea auto-body shop owner pushed out by High Line hype

September 01, 2011 08:39AM

The owner of a third-generation auto-body Business On West 29th Street between 10th and 11th avenues in Chelsea is being forced out of his premises to facilitate hipper tenants, more suitable for the home by the High Line, the New York Post reported.

Alan Brownfeld, whose grandfather started the family business in 1920, said his landlord won’t allow him to extend his lease.

“He’s terminating me and trying to get me to vacate my premises,” Brownfeld said. “They want to replace us with an art gallery or a high-rise… I’ve been here my whole life.”

The building housing Alan Brownfeld Garage was rezoned for residential and mixed use in 2005, the Post said. The auto-body shop was grandfathered in, so if the landlord wanted, Brownfeld could stay.

Local flower-shop owner Maryann Finegan said this is typical of the neighborhood. Ever since the High Line arrived, she said, “this neighborhood wants to homogenize everything into a Yuppieville.” [Post]