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2nd Ave. subway work's killing biz


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2nd Ave. subway work's killing biz



June 21th 2008




Construction of the Second Avenue Subway has hurt local businesses.


The Second Ave. subway will make East Side travel easier when it debuts in 2015 - but mom-and-pop merchants along the route say construction will destroy their businesses.


Shopkeepers from E. 91st St. to E. 96th St. along Second Ave. said Friday construction has impeded car and foot traffic since it began last year, causing profits to plummet and doors to close.


The merchants want Mayor Bloomberg to support state legislation that would give tenants and landlords grants, sales-tax reprieves and property-tax abatements.


Six area stores have closed due to sagging sales that they attribute to subway construction, and six more have said they will go out of business if the legislation does not pass.


"It's just heartbreaking to see my work get run into the ground," said Jill Homorodean, whose 92nd St. business, Blondie's Restaurant, has stopped serving lunch because it cannot afford to staff a nearly empty restaurant.


"It's like a ghost town. No one wants to shop or eat here, because its noisy, dirty and hard to navigate," said Wine Lovers owner Barbara D'Antonio, who said she will close her 92nd St. business on July1 if the bill fails.


D'Antonio and Homorodean said they have lost about half of their business since work on the line began.


Danny Carrero, owner of Eastview Pharmacy on E. 91st St., said he has had to lay off several staff members to combat the more than 20% loss in sales his business has suffered.


"We're definitely entertaining exit strategies right now," he said.


The $4 million grant proposal, if passed, will be immediately divided among the struggling businesses to help them attract more customers.


All three bills are pending in the state Legislature.

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