Aug. 9, 2010 By Christian Murray
A group of Sunnyside residents who are opposed to the opening of an EZ Pawn shop on the corner of 46th Street and Queens Blvd. face long odds that their battle will be won.
In the past week, EZ Pawn has continued to remodel the store; its chief executive David Kaminsky has made it clear that he has no plans to relocate the store; and Louis Macari, the property manager handling the building, said Thursday that the deal is done and nothing is going to change.
Additionally, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has had difficulty reaching the parties involved in the deal to discuss the matter, according to sources. And Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan is out of town.
But Sunnyside resident Patricia Dorfman, who is leading the campaign with a core group of residents, is not giving up the fight. She is looking to generate about 2,000 signatures from local residents/businesses owners who are against the opening of the store. While she doesn’t mind pawn shops per se, her issue is that it would be located on one of Sunnyside’s most prominent corners.
Last week, the group submitted a petition that included 50 names to three elected officials – Van Bramer, Nolan and Congressman Joseph Crowley. Next week, the number of signatures submitted to these elected officials is likely to increase 10-fold.
During the past week, the group added some nearby business owners to the petition, such as the owners of SideTracks and UPS. Both stores are located directly across the street from the proposed EZ Corp store.
However, Louis Macari, from the Jackson Heights-based Lewis & Murphy, said that the store is legally able to operate and that these protests are not right. “I don’t understand what people’s concerns are– or what the councilman’s are,” adding that “They can all say what they want.”
Lewis & Murphy, which was established 60 years ago by Louis’ brother Joseph Macari, manages other properties on the block between 45th and 46th on Queens Blvd.
Louis Macari said that EZ Pawn has been a good tenant in another building and that he has had a relationship with the company for 6 or 7 years.
“They run a nice store, have good credit and the lease has been signed; it’s not going to be changed,” he said, “The existing business [on 46th and Queens Blvd] was a disaster and it looked bad.”
To sign the petition, the address is: [email protected]
As a frequent traveler of the roads and towns of America, I have learned to look for some tell tale signs of potentially dangerous and impoverished communities. PAWN SHOPS are, without question, one of the MOST obvious signs that you are in a neighborhood that might not be the safest area to be in.
Let’s not forget the criminal activity associated with PAWN SHOPS. Does MONEY LAUNDERING and STOLEN GOODS ring any bells?
The choice is clear. IF people want to continue to see Sunnyside listed as one of the TOP 5 PLACES TO LIVE IN NYC, then we must protect the place that we call home and continue to scale UP, NOT DOWN! Businesses that are criminally conducive should not be allowed or welcomed in this neighborhood.
Pawn shops attract a criminal element. We should be getting rid of the other pawn shop on Queens Blvd – not getting a second one.
Yet another step in the wrong direction for Sunnyside.
As a former 6 yr employee of EZ Pawn (2/10/04-07/01/10) I have to say that although I respect people who stand up for their selves and their community, I believe that your fears are unfounded. The majority of Pawnee’s are your average “job holding” individuals that for whatever reason have hit a bump in life and need help fast. To be a good pawnbroker you must care about helping people. These people come to us looking for help with their short term money needs, we are NOT driven by a desire to screw anyone out of their merchandise. people come in with a dollar amount they need or want for an item. They are given the option of getting a loan and using the item as collateral, or they can sell it. hopefully none of u ever are in a position that a pawnshop is your solution but if u are u will appreciate going to a well known reputiable corperation instead of the guy across the boulevard you probably needs to screw over every customer he gets just to keep the business afloat. Bless u all.
I’d rather have a porn shop or a mosque.
Doesn’t Sunnyside already have a pawn broker on the south side of Queens Boulevard between 44th and 43rd Streets? Is the new one designed to spare some residents from having to cross the “Boulevard of Death?”
This is a difficult issue. The pawn shop is indeed a legitimate business, and technically they have every right to be there. However, just as the Mosque at the WTC is a touchy subject, this is too. Subliminal messages drive many of you to make decisions based on the intangible and gut feelings inside of us. The short answer is no one is 100% right.
What we should do is see if there is a way do something different without causing undue harm to all the parties involved because when I drive down the street, I don’t want to see that. I wanted to move there, and I drove up and down the streets trying to convince my girlfriend that this is a nice neighborhood. Seeing businesses like this does nothing to convince her that this is a good spot to live.
Even when I step back and think about the strategy involved with this business, I see a close minded individual conforming to the 100’s of 1000’s of Pawn Shops before him. Why can’t this guy step out of the mold and do something great that would make everyone happy. Why won’t he, because he doesn’t care. He is motivated by money… and that does nothing for the community as a whole.
HERE IS WHAT HE COULD DO:
Change the name of the business, donate proceeds back into the community, and develop a relationship with the businesses around him. Heck, why not turn the business into a not-for-profit entity which takes in donations as part of the business, re-employees people as a way to re-claim their merchandise and helps those families that he use to profit from.
That is why people hate this idea, he stands for something that hollows the community out rather that engaging and improving it! But thats just my opinion…
Has anyone watched Pawn Stars on cable – pawn shops aren’t what they’ve been associated with in the past anymore. They’re a legitimate business similar to a collectibles or antique store.
Did anyone notice the run down dirty looking store that was there before? The owner of EZ Pawn is spending a lot of money to improve the corner. He also provides a needed service. Many people are looking to sell gold or borrow money in this bad economic time. This is a Pawn Shop not a Porn Shop….Relax and get real.
It is a pawn not porn shop, get real this is America.
You should be more concerned with the proposed mosque a few blocks from the WTC site.
You people need to get a life…
If they must open the store, can they at least use a nicer looking sign/storefront? More muted colors, no screaming capital letters?
What are the other properties owned by Mr. Macari? Any in Sunnyside/Woodside?
To sign the petition, the e-mail address is:
Where can our neighborhood find this petition to help prevent this pawn shop from opening or putting it somewhere else. I really cheapens the neghborhood. Plus we do not need other less desirables from ownside our town comming here to do business