But an editorial in last week's NYT looked at some unintended consequences for the neighborhood. Author and blogger Jeremiah Moss indulges in some self-involved throat clearing towards the beginning—tourists in parks are aggravating, models in parks are intimidating, once he went to the High Line and felt underdressed, he once almost had a panic attack there—but gets to the meat in the middle:
While the park began as a grass-roots endeavor — albeit a well-heeled one — it quickly became a tool for the Bloomberg administration’s creation of a new, upscale, corporatized stretch along the West Side. As socialites and celebrities championed the designer park during its early planning stages, whipping community support into a heady froth, the city rezoned West Chelsea for luxury development in 2005...
The New York City Economic Development Corporation published a study last year stating that before the High Line was redeveloped, “surrounding residential properties were valued 8 percent below the overall median for Manhattan.” Between 2003 and 2011, property values near the park increased 103 percent.
This is good news for the elite economy but not for many who have lived and worked in the area for decades. It’s easy to forget that until very recently, even with the proliferation of art galleries near the West Side Highway, West Chelsea was a mix of working-class residents and light-industrial businesses.
But the High Line is washing all that away. D&R Auto Parts saw its profits fall by more than 35 percent. Once-thriving restaurants like La Lunchonette and Hector’s diner, a local anchor since 1949, have lost their customer base.
Moss documents how "one of the most successful redevelopment projects in recent urban history" is edging out decades-old neighborhood businesses here on his blog.