On Friday, May 17, the NYC Department of Buildings suddenly issued "Vacate" notices to roughly 10 Willets Point tenant businesses, that rent city-owned property located along 126th street directly across from CitiField. These businesses were ordered to close immediately, and the vacate notices state (paraphrasing) that the life of anyone who enters the premises may be in peril; and that anyone who violates the vacate notice may be subject to arrest.
Significantly, after the city acquired and inspected these very properties years ago, it has rented these premises to the businesses for several years -- premises that the city now suddenly claims are unsafe. The vacate notices are vague, and do not specify what exactly is alleged to be unsafe. As concerns at least one of the affected businesses, Discount Muffler, located at the corner of 38th Avenue and 126th Street, the building appears to be in excellent condition and the premises is impeccably maintained; there is NO dangerous condition to be found. These businesses were shuttered, with the owners given NO advance opportunity to remedy whatever is alleged to be wrong -- and, for that matter, without even being informed specifically of what is alleged to be wrong.
These properties are administered by NYC Housing Preservation and Development and its legal counsel, Harold Weinberg. HPD must be aware that there are no unsafe conditions at these premises, or it would not have rented them to tenants for several years.
The affected business owners will be meeting with City Council Member Julissa Ferreras on Monday morning at approximately 10:00AM.