If plans for an Olympic stadium in Flushing Meadows move forward, the auto parts haven in Willets Point will be threatened, the Daily News reports:
Just east of Shea Stadium’s parking lots sits the Iron Triangle, a wild tangle of car repair shops in nearby Willets Point, Queens.
For decades, urban planners have plotted to eliminate the madcap bazaar of garages and junkyards that smells of anti-freeze and motor oil and looks like a Third World slum.
With a new Shea Stadium planned for the Mets and possibly the 2012 Olympics, the Iron Triangle’s fate is uncertain. But the owners of the body, glass, muffler and radiator shops – which employ untold hundreds of people – fear the worst.
Expanding on the third world theme, the paper notes that fixing up the area will be a monumental task:
Cleaning up the area will take work. The streets are rocky and flooded, the curbs don’t exist and the potholes are full of lug nuts and shattered glass – all within sight of Shea’s upper deck.
“The soil is so contaminated here, they’d have to go 15 feet down to get out all the oil,” said Billy Kalatzis, 54, who has owned a repair shop on Willets Point Blvd. for 15 years.
And displacing auto parts businesses won’t fix the existential conundrum that Queens exists because we all need it there:
Drivers flock to the ramshackle streets for secondhand parts and cheap repairs.
“It’s kind of unfair just to get rid of all of them,” said Kenneth Inniss, 44, of East Elmhurst, who was getting his air conditioner fixed yesterday.
“I have no idea what they’ll do to us,” said Ajray Kshora, 29, who runs a small tire shop. “If they want to take my business, then what am I supposed to do? Where would I go?”
He’d probably relocate to the Bronx!Posted: June 14th, 2005 | Filed under: Queens