Earlier this week, Crain’s put out an in-depth article about the last seven meatpackers in the Meatpacking District, all of whom reside in an 80,000-square-foot warehouse with 120 employees. While this may seem like a lot since we often talk about the industry’s mass exodus to Hunt’s Point in the ’90s, at its peak in the 1950s the area was home to 200 companies that employed 3,000 butchers and wholesalers. With plans for the High Line and the new Whitney, it seemed an uncertain future for these holdouts, but it was actually the museum that partly saved the meatpackers.
They’ve functioned as a co-op since 1974, and in 2012 they made a deal with the Economic Development Corporation to cede part of their space to the Whitney, and in return they were granted a lease extension to 2032 with an extremely low monthly rent. However, with wholesale beef prices skyrocketing and NYC restaurants shelling out up to $50,000 a month in rent, will meatpacking survive in the Meatpacking District once the lease ends?
Images: Meatpacking District in 1938 via MCNY (L); New Whitney Museum via 6sqft (R)