September 11 Digital Archive

Evicted in Upper Manhattan

Title

Evicted in Upper Manhattan

Source

born-digital

Media Type

article

Created by Author

yes

Described by Author

no

Date Entered

2002-05-07

VTMBH Article: Edition

19

VTMBH Article: Article Order

4

VTMBH Article: Title

Evicted in Upper Manhattan

VTMBH Article: Author

José L. Llanes

VTMBH Article: Publication

Hoy

VTMBH Article: Original Language

Spanish

VTMBH Article: Translator

Erica Pearson

VTMBH Article: Section

briefs

VTMBH Article: Blurb

VTMBH Article: Keywords

VTMBH Article: Body

If the six Hispanic businesses at 201 West 108th St, at Amsterdam Avenue, dont leave in a month they will be thrown out on the street.

The ultimatum came from landlord Allan Garfield of the Strata Realty Corporation, who informed them that their leases would not be renewed, as he had promised three years earlier. They must now abandon the properties within 30 days.

The battle promises to be anything but easy. The business owners formed a coalition with Cynthia Doty, NYC assistant to Assemblyman Edward C. Sullivan, Altagracia Hiraldo of the organization Dominican Sunday, and dozens of the building's residents. The coalition demands that Strata Realty honor its word as binding and renew the commercial leases, or at least give them more time to prepare for the costly move.

If this isnt possible, the community will boycott the new businesses once they move in. The great demand for space in this zone on the Upper West Side is pushing small Hispanic businesses out. And apparently, they want to rent to large chain businesses. That is why they need all of the locations, said Gustavo Madero, owner of Ez Vision, one of the threatened businesses.

Barely three years ago, in this largely Mexican, Puerto Rican and Dominican neighborhood known as Manhattan Valley, women were afraid to walk to the subway stations alone for fear of running into drunks and drug dealers who prowled the area.

It is precisely interaction with the community by these now-threatened small businesses that has contributed to cleaning up the social atmosphere. The community cares for these six stores because they are a part of us. A chain store could destroy this relationship, Doty said. The only thing that you can do is use the power of money to boycott the new businesses. Who will want to open a store knowing full well that it will be boycotted?

For Luis Feliz, owner of Popular Discount, the problem goes even further. It looks like it is a plan to kick out the Hispanic renters as well as business people. Barely 12 Hispanic families are left in the buildings 48 apartments, said Feliz.

The conditions for the residents don't appear to be easy, either. Augusto Cuartas, a Colombian who is president of the buildings Tenants Association, said that while the neighbors support the proprietors demands, they also have their own complaints. The maintenance in this building is terrible; it is always dirty and has many leaks. My roof caved in and I am also bringing a complaint against the landlord, concluded Cuartas.

Landlord Allan Garfield did not return our calls. Doty explained that the community recently boycotted large chain stores like CVS Pharmacy and Kentucky Fried Chicken that tried to open stores on 102nd and 106th Streets, at the cost of a local supermarket and a Cuban restaurant, both of which were of great importance to their neighbors. The community embargo has provoked the giant KFC to think again.

VTMBH Article: Line Breaks

1

VTMBH Article: Date

2002-05-07

VTMBH Article: Thumb

VTMBH Article: Article File

VTMBH Article: Hit Count

194

Citation

“Evicted in Upper Manhattan,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed March 31, 2020, https://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/1252.