After months of requests, the owners of a new Autozone have finally removed the graffiti that had covered the southern wall of their unopened Kingsbridge shop.
Nearby residents had reported the graffiti via Twitter and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz had noticed the graffiti personally as far back as July 10. After weeks of trying to find a responsible party for the unopened store, Autozone painted over the graffiti on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
The Autozone store has long been a sore spot for the neighborhood as local residents had waited for several years for the doors to open for business. A multitude of construction permits from the NYC Department of Buildings were filed starting in 2015, but there has been little activity at the site in recent years, making the building’s large, empty walls an attractive target for graffiti artists. Representatives for Autozone recently informed Dinowitz’s office that they are close to opening and are just waiting on final approvals on a few punch list items.
Dinowitz noted that while graffiti isn’t dangerous, it is an eyesore and bad for the community. He hopes once Autozone is open it takes care of its building and the neighborhood at large.
“Graffiti is one of those crimes that may not inherently be dangerous for the community, but it is unsightly and it evokes memories of a dangerous past here in the Bronx,” Dinowitz said. “Many residents of a certain age, including myself, worked very hard to get our community through the bad days of the 1970s and 80s and seeing graffiti go unaddressed for so long is a slap in the face to the work that we put in years ago. It should not be this difficult to get in touch with business owners in our community, and I am hopeful that Autozone has recognized that they need to be more proactive community partners by maintaining their property on a consistent basis going forward.”