Dealerships in distress along the far West Side

The budding area could see car sellers wiped out
May 18, 2015 05:15PM

After last week’s announcement that Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital bought the Ford Motor Company building at 787 11th Avenue, the question of whether traditional dealerships can survive on the budding West Side has come into focus.

While the price has not been revealed, experts have speculated that Ackman spent in the neighborhood of $230 million on the building, which could serve as the headquarters for his hedge fund.

About a dozen auto dealerships make their home on 11th Avenue from West 42nd to 57th streets, according to the New York Observer. But their days could be numbered.

“I think they’re at great risk,” Alan Weisman, an executive managing director at Lee & Associates who specializes in the area, told the newspaper. “Even if they can stay, I don’t think they’re going to be able to pay the price the new owner expects. Dealers don’t have that kind of money.”

Some of the dealerships own their buildings, but Jaguar and Land Rover are currently on a month-to-month lease in the Ford Motor Company building.

Current development in the area is mostly residential with retail in the base, including TF Cornerstone’s 606 West 57th Street and the Durst Organization’s 625 West 57th Street. [NYO] — Tess Hofmann