“We all know what happens when the designer stores come in,” said Gloria Sukenick, a member of the Metropolitan Council on Housing and a 16-year Chelsea resident.
“You have to take two buses to buy a light bulb or a screwdriver…The people (in public housing) won’t have any place to shop anymore.”
Ms. Sukenick and other neighborhood activists are organizing a rally on May 3 to “Save the Mom-and-Pop stores of 9th Avenue.”
At least eight stores along this “last ungentrified block in Chelsea” could displaced within the next two years as their leases expire, she said.
Landlord Morris Moinian, whose Fortuna Realty company bought 112-126 Ninth Avenue last November for $31.4 million, previously told The Observer that he plans to “renovate and upgrade” the building to lure high-end retail to the area.
Among the expected casualties is the 68-year-old Chelsea Liquor Store, which is currently negotiating with Fortuna over a reported 300 percent rent hike, according to the blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York. The Ninth Avenue Bodega, a Moneygram, New China Takeout, the New Barber Shop, and the Sweet Banana Candy Shop also have between three months to two years before their leases expire.