Owner of Seward Park Liquors Retracts Prior Statements About Landlord and Fate of Store

Posted on: March 14th, 2017 at 5:12 am by

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The fate of Seward Park Liquors will be determined this week.

The owner of Seward Park Liquors – headquartered at 393 Grand Street since 1973 – retracted prior comments suggesting that landlord Seward Park Co-op was “forcing him out” of business. The lease on the space is up.

“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 two weeks ago in an urgent plea Seward Park stakeholders. He noted that another liquor store was gunning to take over. “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.”

Greenthal General Manager Frank Durant refuted that narrative from the get-go –  “We are looking to negotiate a fair and equitable lease term that benefits the Seward Park Housing Corporation and its shareholders.”

With the fate of his store hanging in the balance, DeBlasio is now changing his tune. In a signed letter posted to his store this week, he retracts statements made to Bowery Boogie (and the community).

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“Frank Durant, General Manager & Charles H. Greenthal Management at no time ever communicated to me either in writing or verbally that they were evicting me or have decided to replace my services from the above-reference commercial store,” the letter notes in part. “I am now aware that Charles H. Greenthal does not have the voting power or authority to do so without Board permission unless I am in violation of my lease. They did show the space to several different wine and liquor store vendors in the last three months.”

DeBlasio went on to say that once management received “other proposals on February 28, 2017 to test the market, they wrote to me for a best and final offer with regard to rent and renovating my space. We sat down again and came up with an offer that is in line with other business that had recently negotiated that ws presented to the Board for consideration. I also intend on doing renovations to my store to better serve my clients.”

He also apologized for the accusations about the commission Greenthal would receive if the new tenant is chosen.

Either way, this retraction doesn’t negate the fact that the small business is still threatened. The Seward Park Co-op Board meets this Wednesday to decide between DeBlasio and an unknown liquor store applicant.

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