Below the High Line along West 26th Street a big blue plywood wall has gone up, encircling a gritty lot where the Firestone Bear Auto Center did business at 279 Tenth Avenue. Now the wrecked cars are gone, the tools cleared out and the 1-story garage is coming down, all thanks to new neighbor Avenues. For those hoping for another flashy residential tower rising up against the park in the sky, what's to come could be a disappointment. A recent online listing shows something altogether different: a rendering of a modest structure, filling the corner with 6,000 square feet but rising to just a single story.
The owner of this plot bought it back in 1991 for the bargain price of $675,000 and also has the lot next door, a narrow block-through site running below the High Line. The new scheme at 279 Tenth is aiming for retail, so the future down low won't be offering any industrial sights for park visitors lounging above at the Viewing Spur. The always busy High Line gardeners should be happy that what's to come won't shadow their wooded wonderland beneath the fantastic flyover. From higher up, around the little pool atop the chain-mailed Hotel Americano, guests will have the perfect perch to watch the changing scenery as West Chelsea continues its trajectory from gritty to glam.
· Gentrification Watch [Curbed]
· Retail Real Estate 279 Tenth Avenue [Winick Fall / Winter 2010]
· Behind the Scenes: The Secret Paths of the High Line [Curbed]