Willets Point and the Remaking of New York

A community of immigrant small business owners fight to save their American Dream from government sanctioned bulldozers.


Targeted for several failed redevelopment plans dating back to the days of Robert Moses, Willets Point, a gritty area in New York City known as the “Iron Triangle,” is the home of hundreds of immigrant-run, auto repair shops that thrive despite a lack of municipal infrastructure support.

During the last year of the Bloomberg Administration, NYC’s government advanced plans for a “dynamic” high-end entertainment district that would completely wipe out this historic industrial core. The year is 2013, and the workers of Willets Point are racing against the clock to forestall their impending eviction.

Their story launches an investigation into New York City’s history as the front line of deindustrialization, urban renewal, and gentrification.

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Prudence Katze, Director

Prudence Katze is a New York City-based artist and urbanist who is interested in how political infrastructures intersect with the built world.

She received a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and a Masters in Urban Planning from the City University of New York’s Hunter College.

William Lehman, Director

William Lehman is an Oregon-based filmmaker and editor who lived and worked in New York City for ten years.

As an editor he has focused primarily on long-format social issue documentaries. In recent years he has been a contributing editor to the films The Yes Men Are Revolting and Meru, and has completed the feature length documentaries The Wound and The Gift, which delves into the beneficial relationships that grow out of the animal rescue movement, and Things Left Behind, about the first major art exhibition devoted to Hiroshima. Prior, he edited From The Ground Up, which premiered on PBS and OWN in 2011.