Future of Jerome Ave. body shops uncertain after rezoning approval

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THE BRONX -

The future of auto body shops on Jerome Avenue is uncertain after the area was approved for rezoning last week by City Council.

A large portion of Jerome Avenue is made up of collision and mechanic shops, and many say they feel like the city wants them out.

The Jerome Avenue rezoning plan aims to revitalize the area by adding more affordable housing. Part of the plan sets aside $1.5 million to help auto shops relocate, but business owners and employees say they don't know where they'll go.

The owner of Mega Auto Diagnostic says he was offered about $20,000 to move, but it won't even cover moving all the shop's tools and equipment.

"So what's going to happen?" asks Pedro Estevez, of the United Auto Merchants Association. "They're all going to be out of business and they're all going to be out of a job."

Despite the anxiety over the future, many of the workers say they will continue to go about their days and make the best of the situation.

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