According to the United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA), a nonprofit trade group, between 35 and 40 auto and auto-related businesses on Jerome Avenue have been displaced since the city’s 2018 rezoning of the corridor, and around 150 still operate.
This article is part of a new City Limits series, Zoned Out: Examining the Impact of NYC’s Rezonings. Lea la versión en español aquí.
In 2018, the de Blasio administration rezoned a two-mile, 90-block stretch of Jerome Avenue in The Bronx, from East 167th to 184th streets. The rezoning changed the strip from primarily auto-related, commercial, and industrial uses to allow for residential development, which officials said could help create thousands of affordable units in the transit-rich, housing-starved neighborhood.
City Limits spoke with dozens of merchants along the avenue to assess the impact of the rezoning so far. The United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA), a nonprofit trade group representing local shops, says that between 35 and 40 auto and auto-related businesses on Jerome have been displaced since the rezoning, and around 150 still operate.
Below is a look at scenes from the rezoning area as it stands now, captured by City Limits photographer Adi Talwar in visits during summer and fall 2021.
READ MORE: 3 Years After Bronx Rezoning, Jerome Avenue Auto Shops Under Pressure
An automotive repair workshop on Jerome Avenue near East Tremont Avenue.
Richard Cisternas, former owner of Quality Auto Painting and Body on Jerome Avenue, sold his building for $6.9 million back in the spring. “The sooner the better,” he said of the city rezoning changes.
Shuttered stores on Jerome Avenue near East Burnside Avenue.
A view of the Jerome Avenue neighborhood in the Bronx with its elevated 4 train track and 176th Street subway station.
Jordy Sanchez (in pink) moving beer into the basement of 27 Sport Bar and Cafe at the corner of West Mount Eden and Jerome avenues. Sanchez has worked there for seven years.
Ana Liriano, manager of Galaxy Auto Center located at 1942 Jerome Ave.
A fruit and vegetable vendor on Jerome Avenue near 182nd Street in the Bronx.
Christian Taveras making repairs to a client’s car at Jacquez Automotive Center on Jerome Avenue. The business was told they need to vacate by the end of October, 2021, after their building was sold.
1540 Jerome Ave., Bronx.
Pedro Estevez, president and founder of the United Auto Merchants Association on Jerome Avenue. “When you change the certificate of occupancy to residential, it is no way that those businesses are going to be able to remain there,” he said of the city rezoning. “That neighborhood is no longer industrial or commercial, which all those automotive businesses need to exist.”
The Salvation Army family store and donation center on Jerome Avenue near 184th Street.
Blady has worked at Flat Fix, one of the few 24-hour tire repair shops on Jerome Avenue, for three years. He’d previously worked at American Tire, formerly located at 1331 Jerome Ave., where a new 15-story building is under construction today.
Jose De la Cruz (standing) and Alberto Vasquez working on a car. The De la Cruz family runs an auto shop 1271 Jerome Ave., though they have not had a signed lease for their space in a decade.
Juan, owner of Juan Muffler and Auto Repair, has a lease for another five years for his workshop at 1677 Jerome Avenue. Juan said he has been in business for about eight years.
Manhattan-based Atlantic Development Group purchased a large portion of real estate facing Jerome Avenue just south of West Tremont Avenue this past spring, for nearly $7 million.
Letters received by auto shop owner Elvin Taveras, notifying him that the new landlord planned to terminate his tenancy and he would need to vacate by the end of October 2021.
Workers refilling diesel to keep the generator running at Jaquez Automotive Center on Jerome Avenue, after the shop’s electricity was cut. Their building was sold this past spring, and the new owner has told them they need to vacate by the end of the month.
A new automotive business opening at the corner of 184th Street and Jerome Avenue.