Harlem Developer Unfairly Trying To Displace Auto Shop, Suit Alleges

EAST HARLEM, NY — The owner of an East Harlem automobile mend shop is suing the shop’s new landlord, expressing he is striving to force out the enterprise to make way for an apartment tower that he wishes to develop on the block.

For 15 several years, Status Vehicle Repair has operate a “flourishing” business enterprise on the corner of Third Avenue and East 111th Street, according to the lawsuit filed Monday by operator Yossi Mazig. With 7 entire-time personnel, homeowners have invested extra than $700,000 into the store, made “great will in the region,” and set up Status as one particular of “the couple of remaining motor car restore facilities in Manhattan,” according to the accommodate.

In November, on the other hand, the shop developing was acquired for $9.3 million by Elie Fouerti, a developer who also bought the adjacent 4 properties at 2005-2011 Third Ave. and 207 East 110th St. for $4.1 million. Months later on, Fouerti filed plans to demolish these structures and assemble a 15-tale apartment creating.

Then, in March, Fouerti sent the car shop a detect threatening to terminate its lease, saying that the store had defaulted on the lease by failing to deliver proof of insurance. The shop’s lawyer hit back, telling Fouerti that the store had in reality despatched its insurance policy coverage to its prior landlord, ahead of Fouerti bought it.

Considering that the shop’s lease has no “cancellation for demolition” clause, the landlord has been forced to get resourceful in the hard work to displace the small business, the match alleges.

“The Notice is patently frivolous and further more confirms your client’s intent to harass our consumer in an energy to travel it from its very long-time period enterprise at the premises so it can pursue its strategy to demolish the setting up and erect a considerably bigger making at the internet site,” lawyer James Fishman wrote in the April 8 letter.

Demolitions have by now begun on the block’s south side to make way for the 15-story developing. (Google Maps)

In truth, Fouerti has filed separate strategies with the Division of Properties to develop a next 14-story developing on the part of the block now occupied by Status Car Repair. But when reached by telephone on Tuesday, Fouerti insisted he had no strategies to build on the auto shop area, telling Patch, “There is certainly nothing which is happening on that site.”

As for the lawsuit, Fouerti declined to remark.

“He can say regardless of what he wants,” Fouerti explained. “Permit him have his have tale.”

Since then, the shop’s lease has not been canceled — but the proprietor however fears eviction, which he claims would “permanently demolish the business enterprise that is our whole livelihood.” In its lawsuit, the automobile shop is inquiring a decide to lengthen the time period of time it has to correct any lease violations.

A guy who answered the phone at Prestige Vehicle Mend on Tuesday declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Fouerti’s planned advancement on the 3rd Avenue block has presently shuttered the former Fresh & Reasonable Grocery store on the corner of East 110th Road, which is now going through demolition. (Even so, town documents clearly show that a cease-perform buy was issued for the demolition previous week, due to expired permits and insufficient supervision.)

The building changing it will be designed by Studio V Architecture, with professional room and 91 flats — which include an unspecified number of reasonably priced units. That component was made achievable by the 2017 East Harlem rezoning, which designed tax breaks for builders who include things like underneath-current market residences in their neighborhood jobs.

Fouerti, other than his true estate ventures, is also a co-founder of a worthwhile home-equipment small business centered in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, according to a 2017 profile by Crain’s.