Originally by Victor Gomez in Spanish, translated by Pedro Estevez into English.
New York City District 13 Councilman, and Chair of the Small Business Committee of NYC, Mark Gjonaj, met with the President of the United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA), Pedro J. Estévez, to find a solution to the problem caused by the rezoning of the Jerome Ave corridor.
In this meeting the council member showed interest in the Estévez’s ideas, which consist of the construction of an Automotive Industry Center (auto mall) where these small companies will be located in the “vertical form and not horizontal” as they currently are in the corridor.
For years Estévez has been advocating for the automotive industry, searching for solutions to the businesses’ problems by the rezoning of sectors like the corridor of Jerome Avenue and other areas of the City. Estevez explained that if these small businesses were all located in a vertical way, it would minimize the footprint to a fraction of the size, since over 200 businesses are currently located in an area covering over 2 miles in Jerome Ave in a horizontal way.
The president of UAMA, Estevez, explained to the chair of the Small Business committee and council member of the 13th District,Mark Gjonaj, that these small businesses are being stressed by the City, and to understand that the rezoned corridor of Jerome Avenue places these businesses in danger of displacement and consequently, the loss of their lifelong investments.
Estevez reiterated to the council that the idea of the relocation of these businesses to a vertical location in an Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) where each of these business owners, would be proprietor of their occupying space and ultimately will be the way to end the limitations they have been under for years.
The City Council welcomed the approach of the UAMA President, Pedro J. Estevez, and recognized his leadership. For more than twelve years he has been educating, advocating, and defending small auto businesses in New York City.
Nueva York.- La Asociación de Comerciantes de la Industria Automotriz (UAMA) por sus siglas en ingles, apoyó una manifestación de Concejales que se congregaron la mañana de este viernes en las escalinatas de la alcaldía de aquí, en respaldo de los pequeños negocios.
Pedro J. Estévez, presidente de dicha institución sin fines de lucro, habló a nombre de la misma y denunció el atropello que está llevando a cabo la ciudad en contra de los pequeños negocios de la industria automotriz.
“Lo que está haciendo la ciudad con nosotros es inaceptable e inhumano, algo que viene sucediendo desde Willets Point en Queens, el fracaso del 1080 de Leggett y ahora la rezonificación de la Avenida Jerome donde más de 200 pequeños negocios serán desalojados y dejados a su suerte”, señalo Estévez.
Añadió que este abuso por parte de ciudad es un descaro tan grande que no han tomado en cuenta que dichos negocios se han mantenido en el sector por décadas, rindiendo un servicio a la comunidad y generando empleos.
UAMA tiene un plan de relocalización y educación el cual ha sido rechazado por la ciudad, demostrando con esto que no valoriza el esfuerzo de la comunidad Latina.
Dicho plan consiste en hacer propietario a cada dueño de negocio y la educación de todos los mecánicos de Jerome para que alcancen la certificación ASE, siendo estos reconocidos en todo Estados Unidos, enfatizó Pedro J. Estévez.
Se preguntó por qué se hacen estas rezonificación sin un plan previo de relocalización para dichos negocios, sabiendo que solo pueden operar en una zona industrial.
Un centenar de manifestantes se hicieron sentir en apoyo a los concejales presente, entre los que se encontraban, Mark Gjona, Andy King Mark Levine, Ydanis Rodríguez, entre otros.
The Narrative of the UAMA Auto Business Readiness Project & Vertical Auto Merchant’s Building (VAMB)
Since the rezoning for the Jerome/Cromwell/Inwood Ave corridor is now a rancorous reality, the majority if not all the auto related businesses as well as a huge variety of others business located in that sector are going to be displaced. Up-to-date, the plans neither developed nor intends on developing assist the automotive businesses from being displaced. Auto related businesses are required to operate in a C8-M1-2 zone. Businesses in the affected area were traditionally operating in a horizontal way occupying a long strip of space. The Jerome Ave corridor covers over 2 miles, housing aproximally 200 auto related businesses and about 600 other businesses.
The City of New York rezoned the Jerome/Cromwell/Inwood Ave Corridor into a residential zone to build 4000+ apartment units. Formerly the area was not zoned for residential housing. Understandably, now that it was rezoned, all the auto related businesses located in that zone are going to be in code violation and eventually displaced. UAMA has been working with and advocating on behalf of auto merchants for over a decade.
UAMA has had a negative experience with the City of New York before when we stood in defense of the Willets Point, Queens, NY auto merchants who were displaced based on the city enforcing its imminent domain privilege. 45 of those businesses formed the Sunrise cooperative and were awarded $5.8 million by the Supreme Court for their relocation. EDC was in charge of the relocation and the retrofitting of the 1080 Leggett Ave project for those 45 businesses according to information obtained from Marco Neira the president of Sunrise. The plan was mismanaged, and it turned into a fiasco. Today all those 45 businesses are in the street out of business.
Based on that negative experience, UAMA has developed this plan.
UAMA have developed a 5-year plan that originally will prepare merchants to relocate to a permanent location where they will grow and thrive. This permanent location has been carefully envisioned to remedy the burden placed upon the small businesses located in the rezoned areas where the much needed housing complexes are being built all around the City to keep up with the demand for living space.
The Vertical Auto Merchants Building (VAMB) envisioned by Pedro J. Estevez president & founder of UAMA and his son PJ Jr. with the idea of Horizontal vs Vertical.
This vertical building concept will accommodate all the businesses displaced from the entire Jerome/Cromwell/Inwood Ave corridor housing over 200 businesses in 1or 2 vertically built units in an Industrial Business Zone where they can be housed permanently, where each merchant can own their own space and manage their own state of the art facility.
The envisioned VAMB will consist of shopping retail space as well as serving as an auto industry service center:
This concept is not the ultimate plan
1- Basement- customer parking to shop, eat or for customers of auto service repairs
2- Ground floor – regular stores inside and outside of ground floor, auto related offices, information and waiting area, elevators to go to auto businesses located upstairs.
3- Second floor – auto repairs shops
4- Third floor – body repair and paint shops
5- Fourth floor – tire / glass shops
6- Fifth floor – sound/security- upholstery- tinted window- car detailing
7- Roof – auto dealers – building equipment- solar panels
This VAMB will consist of state of the art technology and equipment to provide the most up-to-date service by Auto Service Excellence certified (ASE) technicians, utilizing the latest diagnostic and repair tools. This VAMB building will be completely environmentally friendly meeting all City, State and Federal Auto Service Industry Operating Regulations.
For more information please contact UAMA’s main office.