Friday, April 17, 2015

Open Letter to Tsu Yue Wang: We Don't Want You at 2020 Broadway

AN OPEN LETTER To Tsu Yue Wang: Negotiating a Food Establishment Lease at 2020 Broadway

Let me start by being crystal clear: The residents of 2020 Broadway and its sister building at 143 West 69 Street do not want you here.

It is not just because of your horrible reputable as the owner of Ollies, or the fact that you were ordered by the Labor Department to pay your workers $2.3 million dollars after paying them as little as $1.40 an hour in sweatshop-like conditions; or even because, although you have the money, you declared bankruptcy in an effort to cheat your hard working employees out of their hard earned money.

And, it is not just because you run careless establishments, having had a horrible fire just a few weeks ago at your Ollies Noodle Shop & Grill on 116th Street forcing the evacuation of the Barnard College Dorm – causing 200 students to be evacuated and injuring six people.

Or, even because down the street from us in 2013 there was yet another fire at your former location which led to the evacuation of the eighteen story building at 1991 Broadway – and where the neighboring Apple Store – had to be evacuated. Imagine you caused APPLE – one of the most prestigious names in the world to evacuate their store!

No. Let me repeat. We don’t want you here.

There was a time when the residents of West 69th Street lived on a beautiful historic tree lined block. It was a residential block. We knew each other. We knew the people who ran the small mom and pop stores on Broadway. We liked them. We patronized their businesses. We were a family.

Those days are gone. And whatever we have left of the place we know as “home,” we are going to fight like hell to protect.

We like our quaint neighborhood with our 100-year old buildings and we will not allow you, or our landlord Arthur Cornfeld aka ABC Properties to turn this into restaurant row or another Times Square.

It is our belief that our landlord is trying to force the remaining rent stabilized tenants out of both buildings by inundating us with hazardous businesses. Namely: restaurants.

Let’s see: we have West Side Restaurant on the corner. There is Noi Due, which appeared from seemingly nowhere – since it was built in the basement of 143 West 69 Street. And, there is Barcibo Enoteca, a wine bar that somewhere along the line became a restaurant serving hot food.

As a result of these three restaurants our landlord stuck into our two small buildings, we have a severe rat infestation and multiple safety hazards. Including multiple fire hazards.

So no. We don’t want you or any other restaurant to occupy the space that was once a wonderful shoe store named Tani at 2020 Broadway.

Go open your restaurant or your deli or whatever food establishment you may have somewhere else. We have an idea: go to Times Square. But, please, don’t burn down another place because Times Square is part of our home too.

Yours truly,

Cornfeld Tenants Association



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