An 80,000-square-foot warehouse in the South Bronx was just renovated.
It was supposed to house a collection of 45 auto-repair businesses, but it stands empty. There is not a car in sight.
For years, the 45 businesses operated in the shadow of Shea Stadium, and then Citi Field, in Willets Point, Queens. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration wanted them out to make way for a $3 billion residential and retail development. The city paid them $7.6 million to move to the South Bronx, but their money ran out before their new home - that warehouse - was completed.
The 45 businesses operate as the Sunrise Cooperative. Their money gone, the businesses face eviction by the owner of the warehouse, but they have filed for bankruptcy hoping to prevent that. They want the city's Economic Development Corporation to provide $3 million more so they can pay their bills and finish construction.
And the auto workers aren't asking for a handout. They are willing to pay the city back to simply complete the project.
But the EDC tells NY1 the businesses should look elsewhere to borrow money.
Salamanca says it's the city's responsibility to help these mostly immigrant businesses.
"These businesses didn't ask to be put in this position," he said.