As Gas Stations Vanish, Harlem Sees Gentrification Creeping In | NY Times

By JEFFERY C. MAYS

A Getty station being demolished in Harlem, one of three stations that have been sold on 145th Street. Residents are concerned about what new development will come to the sprawling sites and what impact it will have on the community. (Photo: David Dee Delgado | NY Times)

A Getty station being demolished in Harlem, one of three stations that have been sold on 145th Street. Residents are concerned about what new development will come to the sprawling sites and what impact it will have on the community. (Photo: David Dee Delgado | NY Times)

Bajram Bajraman stepped out of King’s Pizza on 145th Street near Lenox Avenue in Harlem with his white apron folded at the waist and a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

He walked across the street to the former Getty gas station where he used to fill up and park his car to avoid tickets. Mr. Bajraman, 42, who owns the pizza shop with his two brothers, lit his cigarette as he peeked through the plywood fencing, watching an excavator smash the concrete where the gas pumps once stood.

“This was a nice gas station. A lot of people are upset it closed,” Mr. Bajraman said on a recent afternoon. Asked whether it had hurt business, he said, “Actually, it could mean more customers for us, depending on what goes here.”

The Getty was one of four gas stations on 145th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Lenox Avenue. It closed after it was bought by a real estate company, and then a Speedway station, just a few storefronts away from King’s, was also boarded up. The outline of the Speedway sign is still barely visible on the canopy. Both the Speedway station and the Mobil next door to it have been bought by a residential real estate investor who owns dozens of properties in New York City.

Read more: As Gas Stations Vanish, Harlem Sees Gentrification Creeping In | NY Times

Related: Gentrifiers Want To Rename Harlem Area ‘SoHa’ And Residents Are Pissed | Huffington Post

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