500 signatures reached
To: New York Department of Buildings
Petition for the Department of Buildings for 2 Berry Billboard
We need the permit for 200 N 14th (AKA 2 BERRY STREET) billboard construction to be denied. If this is allowed it will be a massive disruption to our business, incur structural damage, block our skylights that we paid for, and allow an additional revenue stream for our landlord that will allow for an unfair advantage in negotiating lease renewal. The income from advertisements will be more than any lease could offer and those that built the neighborhood over he better part of the last decade, will be pushed out.
Why is this important?
When we took the space at 2 Berry, an abandoned warehouse with no power or water, in 2015 I had a handshake agreement with my landlord for use of the outside on North 14th for a patio. For 4 years our landlord never allowed us to use it as he rented the wall to Seen Media for advertising, making over $50,000 a year off it by 2019. After threatening legal action we finally wrestled it away, and put in our patio. Now, the landlord would like to put in a billboard on our roof. Apart from the massive disruption to our business, and possible damage to an already neglected roof that has numerous leaks and massive structural damage, the added revenue stream for our landlord will mean small business like us will never be able to renew leases. The city needs to address the use of empty commercial spaces for advertising immediately. If a landlord can make $100,000 a year off of a 1600 sq foot commercial lot they will never have incentive to fill those spaces and will leave them empty for years and years waiting for a multi-chain retail or bank to come along and pay anything they want.
The pandemic cost a lot of small businesses, many shuttered, including 2 of our 3 locations. A positive that came out of it was that for the first time in decades small businesses that survived had bargaining power with landlords and many new exciting restaurants, bars, and storefronts opened but things are not back to how they were. We need to curtail these revenue streams for landlords ASAP or you will see more and more empty storefronts.