Lower Manhattan Businesses Evicted To Make Way For Transit Hub
08/14/2006 02:25 PM
More than one hundred small businesses in Lower Manhattan are being forced by the MTA to relocate to make way for the new Fulton Street Transit Hub, and finding a new home hasn't been easy for some business owners. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
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"I don't even know if I'll have a job a month from now," said business owner Robert Rishty. "I'm hoping we can stay"
"There aren't the number of small office spaces available that there once was, and so when you have 140 businesses looking for office space at the same time, it's difficult," said business owner Katherine Hill.
The two sides recently settled on a financial package to relocate, but now local lawmakers are urging the MTA do more.
"Step up to the plate, step forward and work with these business and with the business community to keep them Downtown," said City Councilman Alan Gerson.
Kathrine Hill owns a graphic design studio that has occupied space in Lower Manhattan for twelve years. She says she's ninety percent finished with her move, but says it wasn't easy because small businesses don't have access to a team of lawyers.
"I'm one of the lucky ones to have found a space nearby, but the charm and beauty of this space, of this building, we won't find that again," said Hill.
City Council members David Weprin and Alan Gerson are introducing legislation to help ease the burden of the relocation process.
They're calling for the Department of Finance's $500 application fee to be waived. They also want an expedited tax search since the MTA requires all tenants demonstrate they are in good standing with the city and the state.
For its part, the MTA says it will continue to work with local businesses to help ease the relocation process.
Regardless of whether the legislation moves forward on thing is certain: these business owners will have to be out by September 6th.
- Cheryl Wills