Today’s Headlines

  • 2 Die in East Flatbush Crash; Witnesses Cite Speeding; NYPD: “No Criminality” (Post, News, DNA, NY1)
  • Jordan Savvides, 22, Killed on LIE Service Road; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (Newsday)
  • Liu Refuses Taxi of Tomorrow Contract, Saying It Violates ADA (News, Post, Crain’s)
  • Inez Dickens Wants to Keep Gas Station on 110th Street Instead of Developing Property (DNA)
  • Facing Lawsuit, FreshDirect Eliminates 3 Acres of Truck Parking from South Bronx Plan (Crain’s)
  • On Thruway Authority Board’s Agenda Today: Tappan Zee, But Not Truck Tolls (LoHud)
  • Developer Blackmails CB 6: Shut Down Farmers Market, or We’ll Oppose Second Avenue Plaza (DNA)
  • Fastrack Is Back: MTA to Close Manhattan, Bronx, Queens Lines for Overnight Repairs (News)
  • Brooklyn Bike Patrol Expands to Offer Late-Night Walks Home from 55 Subway Stations (Bklyn Paper)
  • Post and Daily News Letter Writers Give Crazy Cuozzo a Run for His Money

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • jrab

    Re: 110th St gas station: Some of the commenters on the Harlem Bespoke blog post on the redevelopment of that same lot http://harlembespoke.blogspot.com/2012/08/architecture-proposal-for-110th-fdb.html

    also seemed to be in favor of a gas station.

    It seems unlikely to me that folks moving to Harlem in the next 20 years will make the presence of a gas station on that corner a decisive factor in their choice of where to live.

  • It might seem counter-intuitive in these parts to support a gas station. However, that station is one of the very, very few left in Manhattan, now that most other stations have been redeveloped. It’s quite difficult to find one now, and many of the remaining stations have lines to use the pumps. It’s important to protect the few filling stations that are left.

    It’s true that we need to rethink about how much we priorities motor vehicles in Manhattan, but we need them at least a little bit, and we do have room for some. And you can’t just force everyone to drive to Jersey for gas. That’s a bad solution.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting that some of the arguments for keeping the gas station are that it “attracts yellow cabs”. Is that a good thing? That logic seems crazy to me, and I live in the neighborhood and sometimes take cabs, too.

    There’s the underlying assumption that yellow cabs are intrinsically superior to livery cabs, with which I disagree. But OK, everyone can have their own preference. But how can anyone have such a strong preference for yellow cabs that they are willing to pay for it with a polluting and congestion-inducing eyesore next to one of the greatest parks in the world? FDB circle is also Harlem’s front door: why greet visitors with a gas station? This corner deserves better.

  • Anonymous

    Tear down the Plaza and the Time Warner Center, bring in a pair of Mobil stations. Watch Central Park South boom. Guaranteed economic development. Small businessmen are the key to prosperity. Inez for Council Speaker. 

  • jrab

    Brian, glad to hear you have chosen to voice those “counterintuitive” arguments today. Question remains, if these kinds of enterprises are important to the city as a whole, why should particular neighborhoods suffer the blight of these kinds of “services”? It seems to me that the posh Upper West Siders who live near Lincoln Center manage quite well without a gas station or a flat fix place in their neighborhood. Why shouldn’t Harlemites have the same opportunity to forego these kinds of blights?

  • vnm

    Brian, maybe Frederick Douglass Circle, with a grand new monument to the 19th century abolitionist, isn’t really the best spot for a traffic magnet?

  • I live near walking distance of three gas stations in way upper Manhattan. I stopped ever using yellow cabs to get home (which I used to do perhaps 5 or 6 times a year) unless they are my absolute last choice because the drivers never, ever want to go there, and will moan the entire trip about it (seriously, it’s absurd). So color me skeptical. 

  • Anonymous

    I live within one mile of at least six gas stations. I don’t think we have to get rid of all gas stations, but the one at FDB circle (which is not even among those six, so I’m not a NIMBY but a “NICPBY” 😉 seems like a particularly poor use of the space.

    Brian, the lack of gas stations in Manhattan doesn’t force anyone to go to New Jersey. They can more easily and cheaply go to the Bronx or Queens (OK, if you buy a lot of gas it might be cheaper to go to New Jersey once you account for the price difference).

  • Anonymous

    If there’s really a better use of the gas station space from an economic development perspective, then shouldn’t a developer be willing to buy out the gas station and build something else there?
    Auto-related businesses, including gas station, tend to produce relatively low revenues relative to the amount of space they require.  That’s why they usually cluster where real estate values are low.  If the land becomes more valuable, the gas station will be replaced by something else.

    If the argument is that you just don’t like gas stations and want the city to move them or get rid of them, that sounds very similar to the logic used by people who just don’t like bike lanes.
     

  • Bolwerk

    Economically, gas stations are cash cows. Even derelict ones tend to go for millions of dollars in inner city parts of  Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens.  Unfortunately, to get a property with that kind of valuation requires building a pretty large apartment complex, even in NYC, and especially outside of prime neighborhoods – this is difficult, with all the attendant problems of the NYC development process.

    Otherwise, gas stations are pretty nasty. The fumes alone are repulsive, and I’m not sure what health effects they have on people who literally live near them.

  • jrab

    Bolwerk, a million dollars ain’t what it used to be.

    A good ratio for rent-rolls to price is 1:8, i.e. you should pay eight times the annual rent for a property. So a $4 million property has annual rents of $500,000, or monthly rent of $42,000.  I can assert that the monthly asking rent for a former drugstore on West 181st St & Fort Washington Ave is $25,000; so a $50,000 rent for a commercial space on the corner of West 110th St and Frederick Douglas Blvd sounds quite reasonable.

    If you add in just six apartments for $5,000 monthly each, that makes the whole thing worth about $7 million.

  • Glad to see the taxi of tomorrow is being shut down now, rather than by a billion dollar lawsuit later. 

  • Guest

    I used to live near a gas station, and actually found the convenience store useful and the attendant a helpful neighborhood resource. Maybe we were just lucky, but it was a much better neighbor than the stereotypes.

    I don’t buythe argument it is the worst used parcel on the 110th Street edge of the park. That is nonsense. The worst use is a correctional facility. Why do criminals get park views.

  • Miles Bader

    I used to live near a gas station, and actually found the convenience
    store useful and the attendant a helpful neighborhood resource. Maybe
    we were just lucky, but it was a much better neighbor than the
    stereotypes.

    Soooooo… just get rid of the gasoline-vending part (which takes most of the space, and is responsible for most of the problems), and keep the convenience store.  Win / win!

  • Ian Turner

    Indeed, all you have to do is imagine building a new gas station next to central park (in the absence of the present one) to realize that this is all about status quo bias.

    That said, I can’t see any reason why the EDC should have to get involved. Everything they touch seems to end in disaster.

  • Guest

    I think you missed part of my point, @google-9ed3368a6439fa92efd353af4436290d:disqus .  The guy out there pumping the gas knew about things that were going on in the neighborhood.  I would have missed him.

    The convenience store probably would have been less viable as a business without being attached to the gas station, as well.

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