A beloved Bronx record store and other small businesses are being forced out to make way for new development. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
The music's been playing at Harmony Records on Unionport Road since 1956.
"We were here from the doo-wop era, the disco era, the hip hop era, the freestyle era and every era you can conceivably think about," said Glenn Velger, owner of Harmony Records.
At year's end, though, it will come to a stop. All of the small businesses on the square block are being forced to close.
"These people came in, and they said that they brought the property, and the first thing I asked them was, 'Are you throwing us out?' and they said, 'Oh no we're not throwing you out,'" Velger said. "Within about two weeks after that, a guy comes in with an eviction notice."
All of the buildings on the block have been bought by a developer, who plans to tear them down.
"I understand that change has to come," said Hugh Williams, a Parkchester resident. "But Jesus, do you have to squeeze out the little guy?"
The block is a two-minute walk from the site of a planned Metro-North station. Sources tell NY1 it was bought by the Pinnacle Group, which wants to build housing there.
Demolition plans have been filed with the Department of Buildings, but no construction plans yet.
"When I first heard about the train station, I was thrilled," Velger said. "This is going to be great. And boy, was I wrong."
While the station won't be built for another few years, the announcement that it would be built ignited interest in the area by real estate speculators.
Borough historian Lloyd Ultan says development often increases in areas where rail service is built.
"The very first station that was built on the mainland was Fordham," Ultan said. "In 1846, just five years after the station opened up, there was a little village."
The historian adds that increased access makes neighborhoods more desirable and that a Metro-North station would give residents another option to get to the city. But locals don't see it as all positive. The community board is disappointed Pinnacle hasn't reached out to them, and business owners like Velger are left looking for a new home with few options.
"Rent is too damn high," Velger said.