Seward Park Liquors on the Verge of Losing Lease After 43 Years in Business
Seward Park Liquors, a mom-and-pop mainstay on Grand Street since 1973, might not last the week. Its owner shared an “urgent message” with Seward Park Co-op stakeholders Friday afternoon, informing residents that the lease at 393 Grand Street is threatened. Potentially on the way out.
“After forty-three years of service without missing a rent check, the managing agent [Charles H.] Greenthal has decided to replace my services,” proprietor John DeBlasio noted in an urgent plea distributed to Seward Park stakeholders Friday afternoon. “Within the last ten years I have invested tens of thousands of dollars in renovations and upgrades. Not only a monetary but personal investment as well. This store has been family operated with deep roots in the community.”
DeBlasio tells us that a new liquor store tenant is potentially on deck – favored, even – and that the decision between the two comes down to a Co-op Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday. “I have been negotiating with [Greenthal General Manager Frank Durant] for a number of months and we came to terms in late December. He gave me a term sheet which I signed and submitted on January 17. Thought we had an agreement being presented to the board [but it wasn’t].”
Frank Durant, for his part, refutes the allegations that Seward Park Liquors is being replaced.
“We are not looking to replace any commercial tenant,” Durant countered in response to DeBlasio’s allegations. “We are looking to negotiate a fair and equitable lease term that benefits the Seward Park Housing Corporation and its shareholders. That is Management and the Board’s focus and responsibility.”
Below is the urgent appeal DeBlasio distributed:
I have an urgent message for the share holders and residents of the Lower East Side. After forty three years of service with out missing a rent check,the maneging agent Greenthal has decided to replace my services. The agent receives a 6 % commission for new tenants.It is obvious why they want to convince the Board of Directors to seek a new tenant.
Within the last ten years I have invested tens of thousands of dollars in renovations and up grades. Not only a monetary but personal investment as well. This store has been family operated with deep roots in the community. most of my customers are not aware of this situation. The agent has stalled negotiations until a new replacement was found. This lease will go before the Board for approval on Wednesday March 1. At that time they will decide between Seward Park liquors or a new bee. The new bee is promising the world to the Board just to get the lease. The agent wants the new bee for fat commission.
It is imperative for all share holders to contact their Board Members by any means to prevent a new bee take over.This is legal maneuver for the agent but immoral. My whole life has been to build a successful business not to be pulled out from under me. I hope you can empathize with me. If there were any improvements needed to be made, I would be open to suggestions. However, I have not been approached as yet.