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Another small business in Sunnyside to close, owner claims the rent is too high

Happy Photo to close

March 27, 2017 By Christian Murray

Another small business is about to close in Sunnyside.

Happy Photo, which has been in business for the past 20 years and is located at 45-06 46th Street, will be shutting its doors for good at the end of the month, according to its owner.

The store– which offers custom framing, passport pictures and photos—has been owned by the current proprietor, Mr. Kim, for the past 16 years.

Kim said he is closing because it is too costly to operate his business. He said that he pays about $6,500 per month in rent and then there are other expenses, such as BID fees– assessed by Sunnyside Shines– that are more than $1,000 per year.

“The customer pays me and the money just goes straight to the landlord,” he said. “It is just a money transfer to the landlord.”

While Sunnyside Shines tries to promote the neighborhood, retail store owners– such as Mr. Kim– say they don’t benefit from the $1,000-plus fees.

The retailers claim that the BID’s attention is focused on restaurants– on events such as Taste of Sunnyside and Sunnyside Restaurant Week– and they get very little in return.  The majority of the 300 businesses in the BID area are retailers or service providers.

However, Kim did concede that changing technology and customer habits have put a dent in business. For instance, people don’t print out their photos like in the past.

Happy Photo is in a section of Sunnyside where the number of vacant stores is starting to mount. The bank next door, First Central Savings Bank, closed its Sunnyside branch in October, and H&J Asian Carrier, a retail store located around the corner at 45-11 Greenpoint Avenue closed in September.

Meanwhile, Radio Shack located at 45-02 Queens Blvd. will be soon closing.

 

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47 Comments

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SunnysideSurfer

I had forgotten how satisfying printing photos was until recently. I’m an amateur photog in the area, and I get all of my photos printed online – although it would’ve been nice to start a relationship with Mr. Kim, I’m just learning about him now.

I think people need to remember how nice it is to print your own work, to choose the paper and how scale interacts with the overall feeling of the photo. It’s a very satisfying process, and makes for more enjoyable viewing than on a computer.

I think in order for printing / framing places to stay alive, they need to offer more classes and discussions and live YouTube / Facebook sessions (like B&H Photo). Like Bart Stone said, how can they compete with online? What can a brick and mortar place offer that an online place can’t? I’d say great customer service and a personal relationship.

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Kieran the Irish leprechaun lucky charms

Yeah , sure, real big loss for the neighborhood, what are you on??? I pray your not driving.

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Picture lover.

Went there many times to get some old family photos reproduced, and bought great picture frames, too. Can’t someone help the very talented Mr. Kim save his high-tech photo business? It will be a big loss to the community.

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useyourwords

“high-tech photo business”?

Say what now? His business is built on something that has been on the wane for the last two decades.

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Bruno

Oil- Your obsession with Trump and right wing politics makes you a bigger bore than el loco. Get a life or a hobby you boring loser.

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Phil

I hope he’s got enough put away to take care of himself and his family. It’s a testament that he lasted about 15 years longer than most independent photo shops.

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Bart Stone

Obviously I feel sorry for the owner, but this is the way the world works. All framing/picture stores are getting killed these days by amazon and art.com. Times change and businesses need to adapt or move on. As for the rent, of course it goes up over time, property values are rising in the area which is a good thing. The idea that we should preserve businesses that aren’t economical/wanted for the sake of retaining some kind of small town charm is kind of ludicrous if you stop and think about it for a second. The landlord can put the space to better economic use by renting to a new business that will either succeed or fail based on what they offer to the community. You don’t like that, move to North Korea. That said, Trump sucks. You are allowed to be capitalist without selling your soul to an orange buffoon.

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Local Drawin Dude

Really sorry to hear this. Kim was the guy who did all of my framing in the last few years. Always did a great job.

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george

The OET SHOPPE HAS BEEN THERE FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS…STEVE DESIMONE IS A MAIN STAY IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD…YEAH HE SELLS DOGS..CATS..BIRDS..SO WHAT I HAVE IN THE PAST PURCHASED FIVE WONDER DOGS OVER THE OAST YEARS….AGAIN..ALL YOU JACJASSES DO IS WHINE…JUDGE AND JUST PKAIN OLD COMPLAIN..GET YOUR FACTS..LIFE AND YOU NANNY STATE LIVE IN ORDER..BLAME THE PET SHOP???HIW ABOUT THE PKACE COOKING THE BIRDS???MY GOODNESS..GO HAVE A HAMBURGER..OH THARS RIGHT….SAVE THE FRIGGING COWS…GO LIVE IN INDIA.. PO LEASE. ITS BEAUTIFUL THERE…AND TO MY BELOVED MEMIRIES OF OUR OET SHOP ON 46 STREET
…. I WILL ALWAYS SHOP THERE…GO MR STEVE DESIMONE…HE SUPPIRTS THIS NEIGHBORHOOD HIS WHOLE LIFE..JYST LIKE I HAVE..THANKS STEVE…FROM GEORGE AND PARIS KELLY

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animal cops

he sells puppy mill dogs. met several people that said they got dogs from him that quickly became very ill. The store is disgusting. Thank god we have alternatives in the area now. Dont shop ADOPT

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don't buy that doggie in the window

The place is a blight on Sunnyside. Steve does not care about the animals at all. He only sees $$$$$

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daniel

first this business is obsolete and second the guy was doing everything to keep clients out of his store. I can understand rents are going up etc… but there are also some rules of thumb when you own a business.

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Roxy

But the onerous pet store, which sells dogs, cats, and birds, lingers on and puts a curse on the entire block.

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The Moops

You’re right. That place is filthy. It’s criminal how many parakeets they cram into one cage with no toys for them to even play with.

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El loco

They play with each other. Would you rather sit alone at home with toys or with others like yourself. Jeez.

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El loco

Who’s going to convert my old beta max tapes to DVD now? This business was obsolete. Don’t blame this one on gentrification.

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Me

Are we going to cry Flagship closed, too? What about Radio Shack, nobody is complaining about those. When was the last time you went to a photo store? They don’t really need stores anymore, he can work from home or internet, move his studio with him, go shoot proms or weddings etc, that’s where he cam make money, otherwise it’s sadly where this business was heading the moment everything went digital. I hope he saved enough to retire comfortably.

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Sign of the Times

Darn and I just recently acquired a film camera too. Maybe I’ll try to get a roll developed before he closes.

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EEEA

Do it yourself in the bathroom. Having a film camera is half the fun. The other is developing the film.

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Happy

There were many complaints about the BID in Jackson Heights in the recent documentary about JH. I don’t know the details very well, but it seems worth looking in to for anti-gentrification forces…

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Anonymous

BID’s are for landlords. They want high rents and they are willing to kick out good functioning businesses to get it. The Chamber has taken a beating from the BID because the Chamber is for the businesses, not the landlord. But the BID gets big bucks from the city and the Chamber gets snubbed. Support the chamber and put pressure on JVB to support it, too.

This is happening from all over NYC and the country, it is not caused by either JVB or the BID but they are working with the enemy rather than the constituents.

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Very unfair

I don’t know about any of that.
But no one should be forced to pay 1000- 2000 for nothing or something they have no say over. It’s wrong!!

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Anonymous

You CANNOT blame Sunnyside Shines or JVB because a photo shop went out of business. It’s not 1994 anymore.

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Anonymous

Or 1985. He needed to change his business to something else long ago. I’m surprised a photo shop lasted this long. Most of the shops going under are simply operating outdated business models. It sucks, but even McDonald’s knows it needed to switch from red and yellow to the McCafe style to keep up with the times.

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South

Thank you. Sad to see another business close, but unfortunately it’s the internet age, and photo stores have become more and more obsolete.

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Sunnyside Sam

Not to mention that the quality of this product was deficient. Crappy frames and overpriced services. Yeah, I know he priced them to be able to pay rent – which didn’t really work – but he did not adapt. You guys are totally right.

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Anonymous

These businesses get nothing for their fees. The bid is not about small business.
Trash pick up and graffiti should be paid by the city.
What do these businesses get for there 1000 – 2000 a yeaR? Nothing.Thanks for helping small business by dumping them with more fees.

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Charlie

Sunnyside shines doesn’t do anything for small business except over charge the fees associated at the taste of sunnyside. They charge the restaurant $300 for a tent fee and promise them it’s a great showcase for there work.
Than they raised the admittance fees on residents by charging them this $100 ticket fee and tell them they can come in early and beat the long lines.
I remember about six months ago JVB said he was planning something to help all small business. That got nowhere fast because he was too busy marching at Trunp tower. It’s all politics again.
Why in hell does business have to chalk up money to this sunnyside shines?
It should come from tax dollars or if JVB did stand up for small business he would have fought for that.
And furthermore sunnyside shines says they are a non profit organization???

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Sunnyside Loved Me Long Time

The establishing of the B.I.D. destroyed this neighborhood…put at least we have rainbow banners advertising businesses that will probably close after the next rent hike.

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Anonymous

Fing tragic. Typical 212 ers. Oh I don’t know where queens is? Do I pass it on my way to an airport? Oh it’s not even Brooklyn? Oh oh

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A.Bundy

people are disillusioned. they care too much what other people think. all that matters to me is that my apts increase in value every year, so i can retire in a nice place away from nyc at an early age. those that still are asking where queens is, will still live in this messed up city, forever probably.

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Pat

Middle class area with High class rents ..
Where is the Sunnyside chamber of commerce and Jimmy Van Bramer in helping these small business ..

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Psh!

Van Brammer is busy closing deals with this real estate accomplices and protesting Trump rather than saving the homes and businesses of the people he claims to represent!

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Anonymous

but don’t forget he is wearing his pink pussy hat too – and his pockets are being lined well — and he is always in the projects never in sunnyside or woodside –

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Your Neighborhood!

If anyone wants to preserve their neighborhood you need to take the lead and contact the historic district counsel. Currently there is NO height regulation on LIC and they’re working to stop that because the 7 train will be more mucked up than ever. http://hdc.org/

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