Beach 116th Businesses Could Get Shafted

NEWS
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Is this the last stop for Last Stop? One of the closest things Rockaway has to a diner could be forced to close up shop as their lease, and several other businesses in the MTA property, is coming to an end. Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato are asking the MTA to show some mercy.

Last year, several businesses along Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park reached out to the Assemblywoman’s office, telling her that they were notified that their leases with the MTA would be coming to an end, and the buildings would be opened up to a public bidding process according to the Public Authorities Law of 2008.

The businesses—Last Stop Gourmet Shop, Joseph A. Otton Tax & Accounting, Beach Cleaners and Tailors, and A & J Jewelry—were told on May 3, 2018, that their leases would be expiring and they’d have to pay rent on a month-to-month basis. However, last week, the businesses received notice that their leases will be terminated on May 31, 2019, and would be sent out to a public bid process.

In response, Addabbo and Pheffer Amato have sent a letter to Pat Foye, the Chairman and CEO of the New York MTA, asking that the MTA allow the businesses to remain open in their buildings as the agency opens up their Request for Proposal process to find new tenants.

“While the 2008 Public Authorities Law requires the MTA to legally open the bidding process when these current leases are up, we can ask if they will at least let these businesses remain open, provide the local jobs and services, while the bid process is underway,” Addabbo said. “This isn’t the best situation for the business owners, but the MTA does have the legal right to do this. In the future, we may have to look at the Public Authorities Law and see what changes can be made so situations like this do not happen again," stated the Senator.

 “The backbone of our community here in Rockaway is our small businesses. By the MTA upholding the public bid process, it will force these businesses to close their doors, causing a great loss not only for the owners but for all the families of our community who utilize these businesses in Rockaway Park,” Pheffer Amato said. “I join Senator Addabbo in urging the MTA to allow these local businesses to remain.”

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