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]