Kew Gardens businesses have been waiting eight years for $3 million in repairs to their buildings on Lefferts Boulevard and several store owners have said there appears to be no end in sight.
According to business owners on the Lefferts Boulevard bridge over the LIRR tracks between Austin and Greenfell Streets, the landlord of the property has refused to maintain the buildings for the eight years he has leased them from the MTA.
Since the master tenant, Zee N Kay, took over the lease in 2009, Nathalie Reid, owner of Thyme Market, said she has had a hole in the floor of the storage room through which she can see the passing LIRR trains below, and Zee N Kay has not made any attempt to repair it. She has since covered it with plywood boards.
Reid said that the stores are so poorly insulated that they have to keep the heat on high during the night so the pipes don’t burst. Thyme Market carries vitamins with gel capsules and during the night, in the high heat, those capsules melt. “My heating bill is astronomical,” Reid said.
Pradeep Argawal, a certified public accountant with an office on Lefferts Boulevard, said that his pipes have frozen several times and the landlord sent someone to fix it, but it is only a temporary fix as it will freeze again regardless of whether or not the heat is kept on.
Both Argawal and Reid have asked for reimbursements for heating expenses since they say that Zee N Kay has never insulated the pipes, but that request was refused.