Wednesday, August 27, 2008

American Dream becomes nightmare

The Willets Point location, near several major highways, helped House of Spices grow into the country's largest manufacturer and distributor of Indian and Pakistani foods.

But now, 19 years later, the city is threatening to uproot House of Spices and roughly 260 other Willets Point businesses so the area can be redeveloped into a glitzy realm of residences, stores and a hotel.


Bitter aftertaste for Willets Point spice business from redevelopment

"It's just very ironic," Soni said, noting that the financial package the city offered House of Spices in 1989 required the company to grow its workforce.

"We successfully did that," he said, explaining that the company added 70 jobs.

Mayor Bloomberg's controversial plan to redevelop the 62-acre industrial zone - possibly using eminent domain - is the latest example of policies promoting residential and commercial uses at the expense of industrial uses.

Soni said the city's grand plan for Willets Point has jeopardized House of Spices' future in New York - and caused him to shelve $1 million in capital improvements to his operation.

"It sends the wrong signal to nonFortune 500 companies," he said, noting that morale is declining among his workers - and many have started looking for other jobs. "I don't see them supporting manufacturing in any way."

Soni said he wants to stay in the city. But while the city keeps him in limbo, he is looking at land in New Jersey, where manufacturing space costs between $6 and $8 per square foot, compared with between $20 to $25 per square foot in the five boroughs.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

how can Soni spend a mil on capital improvements in the triangle without permits?

the tone of this article sounds like the ends of a negotiation. I predict Soni will be offered and accept a move to Hunts Point Food District within weeks. Fodera will follow.

Anonymous said...

the second inconsistency is his plan to move to jersey.

he says many times he cant leave WP because his customers and workers are all convenient to the triangle yet he thinks he can move to Jersey and be successful?

Alan said...

Bloomberg tactic...divide and conquer???

Anonymous said...

Look these guys dont stand a chance.

The newspapers have all but ignored them tidying away that nasty eminate domain issue, so for all intents and purposes you could probibally send the Red Army in there and sack and burn the place and the newspapers would only talk about the ficticous debate of luxory (Asian) vs affordable (Hispanic) housing.

they are dead meat.

sad.

Anonymous said...

They should have gone nasty with the billboards (politicans and community board roasted), but their advisors seem to have said not to do it. I reality they likely cut a deal and left them to hang.

I agree. They are dead meat.

Anonymous said...

"how can Soni spend a mil on capital improvements in the triangle without permits?"

He said he SHELVED the plans for those, therefore he needs no permits. And capital improvements could be machinery.

Anonymous said...

"he says many times he cant leave WP because his customers an d workers are all convenient to the triangle yet he thinks he can move to Jersey and be successful?"

Probably not. He says he can't be successful outside WP because of the cost of land elsewhere in the city. He could try a move to NJ where things are less expensive, but that may not save him either.

Many businesses that are forcibly relocated end up failing. Prediction: The City Council will vote yes, the properties will be condemned and cleared out, the businesses will die and the city's money will dry up and the land will sit barren for years.

Anonymous said...

he has NO plans for capital improvements in WP because NO ONE awants to invest in that crap hole. he's posturing to get his best deal// good for him. he started in Hunts Point before accepting the cities handouts to establish on the wild frontier of WP.. now he'll go back there and prosper

the city will engorge him with grants and tax rebates to assist him in growing his business. thats not an issue.

Anonymous said...

"It sends the wrong signal to nonFortune 500 companies," he said, noting that morale is declining among his workers - and many have started looking for other jobs. "I don't see them supporting manufacturing in any way."

Yes I'm sure all the illegal help you have hired have low moral because of the WP plan. Try paying them more than minimum wage and watch how fast moral increases.

Anonymous said...

you crappers lay down in a fight faster than the french.

Anonymous said...

"you crappers lay down in a fight faster than the french."

What fight? And that 'faster than the french' line barely postdates the Maginot line. But I am more than sure that you don't.

Anonymous said...

"you crappers lay down in a fight faster than the french."

What fight? And that 'faster than the french' line barely postdates the Maginot line. But I am more than sure that you don't.

Anonymous said...

"Yes I'm sure all the illegal help you have hired have low moral because of the WP plan. Try paying them more than minimum wage and watch how fast moral increases."

First he claimed all the automotive businesses hired illegals. Now he's claiming Soni's doing the same thing. As if having illegals on staff justifies the city's use of eminent domain abuse when the city has a sanctuary city policy. LOL LOL LOL LOL!

Anonymous said...


First he claimed all the automotive businesses hired illegals. Now he's claiming Soni's doing the same thing


mot the same poster.. we area all anonymous here.

What fight?

the fight against developing Willets you dolt. take three minutes (or three hours in your case) and read the comment from the top down before commenting.

Anonymous said...

shelved means he had plans and is no longer executing them. I call B.S.

And capital improvements could be machinery.

any why wouldnt he invest in machinery even if he is moving? cant he just move the million in equipment???

this man is just posturing to get the best deal. just like he did in 1990 when he moved to the triangle.

Anonymous said...

thats the thing with willets.

no one in their right mind will invest in and capital improvements with the sword of condemnation hanging over their head.

at some point these business owners will realize that and make a deal. that point seems to be happening sooner rather than later based on the recent crains and NYDN articles that crapper refuses to highlight.

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, it's already in the queue to be posted tomorrow so you can waste your Labor Day Weekend writing about how great the city is for threatening eminent domain.

Anonymous said...

bury the anti crapper stuff on a three day weekend

Journalism at it's best

Queens Crapper said...

First of all, I am on vacation in another country. I therefore am queueing posts when I can get internet access. A lot of the info is old, but that's the breaks. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you don't like the content of this blog or the positions taken here, you can start your own and yak away to your heart's content.

Second, there is nothing anti-crapper in the fact that the city is finally working deals out with the business owners that both sides are satisfied with. All that was asked was fair compensation without eminent domain, and the city only made this move after multiple protests. If Soni is posturing to get a better offer, then good for him. The city and its politicians have no problem posturing when it benefits them.

Have fun posting angry comments this weekend. I'll be enjoying the coast.

Anonymous said...

Blogs are not journalism. If you understood the difference, then maybe you wouldn't be so upset about what's posted here.

Anonymous said...

who is angry?

i am VERY happy willets will soon be DEVELOPED into a bustling community. im surprised the queens crap credo is happy with this but so be it.

as tp your journalism comment ill refer you to Mirriam Webster. simply defined as
the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media

no one is accusing crapper of reporting facts but it is the duty of the public to correct misstatements and misrepresentations of facts masquerading as representative of the popular public opinion.

enjoy the coast.

Anonymous said...

The most common definition of journalism:

"the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business."

This is not an occupation, organization or a business and therefore not journalism. Time for you to get a life.

Anonymous said...

time for you to get a clue.

Anonymous said...

thats only the common definition for you.. since you made it up.

open a dictionary idiot

Anonymous said...

That's from a dictionary, idiot.

Anonymous said...

thats like defining carpentry as an occupation.

its an incorrect view of the word. probably found in a grammar school dictionary if at all.

journalist is an occupation.

journalism is an activity.

thats your last lesson on this topic. take a few days and soak it in. there will be a test.

Anonymous said...

jour·nal·ism
–noun 1. the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.
From the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (formerly the American College Dictionary)

Think you may need to go back to school, not only to learn how to use a dictionary and to learn what the term journalism means, but also to improve your capitalization skills which are poor and show your uneducated abilities.

Anonymous said...

Try exercising some judgment and independent thought in your selection of reference material..

Random House is a collegiate dictionary.

For your information, merriam webster is the final word on reference material since 1828.

Random House is nothing more than a hack conglomerate that tried to capitalize on the Webster brand in reference materials.

poor job

Anonymous said...

tell me.

do you also rely on the National Enquirer for your news?

I am done with this thread. I consider this my community outreach to the educationally challenged.