A few hours ago, Chris Flash interviewed Ray Alvarez, the proprietor of Ray's Candy Store at 113 Avenue A, for The Shadow. As you may recall, Barbara Chupa, the managing agent of the building that houses Ray's store, with the help of a bodyguard, reportedly threatened to padlock his store unless he paid the two months of rent ($8,000 in total) that she says he owes.
Here is an excerpt from The Shadow exclusive:
Ray's landlord is the Leshko family, from whom Ray also rents an apartment in which he lives upstairs from his store. Though the Leshkos have had a good relationship with Ray since Ray opened his store in 1974, Ray says it is Chupa who wants him out. Since 2000, Chupa has been managing the Leshko properties on the Lower East Side. These include Ray's store at 113 Avenue A, 131-33 East Seventh Street and 66 St. Mark's Place.
Ray told The SHADOW that at Chupa's insistence, since 2000, Ray has been renting his store with no lease at $4,000 on a month-to-month basis. According to Ray, under Chupa's management, 25 other stores in the neighborhood are operating without the protection of a lease.
On Thursday night, Chupa told Ray that she has a new tenant who will pay $5,000 per month for his store. If so, Chupa could get a $10,000 commission, the equivalent of two months rent, from the new tenant. As Ray is already paying a peak rent for his small store, and as the neighborhood is already full of empty storefronts, it is doubtful whether a new tenant would be able or willing to pay as much or more for Ray's store.
Read the whole story here.
Meanwhile, Bob Arihood at Neither More Nor Less reports that the deadline passed without Ray making the back rent payment. Ray's is still open...
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[Photo by Bob Arihood via The Shadow]