Saturday, January 9, 2010

Behind the landlord ultimatum at Ray's Candy Store

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...

For further reading on EV Grieve:
The comments section on the post "Deadline Friday: Ray's Candy Store in imminent danger of closing"

[Photo by Bob Arihood via The Shadow]


Bob Arihood said...
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EV Grieve said...
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Rmom said...

We had our lunch today at Ray's...hope this won't be the last time. Piping hot Belgian Fries were really good on a cold day like this. We pitched in a little in the tip jar, knowing it wouldn't help that much (more precisely, at all...).

Anonymous said...


Barbara Hanson said...

This is the very worst of what is happening to the neighborhood. No compassion, no tolerance, no cherishing of what makes this neighborhood live. I would suggest donating money, but most of us who care are barely making their rent. What to do, Grieve, what to do?

Anonymous said...

Most of you who care are paying barely any rent, you leeches

glamma said...

save ray's!!! maybe we can protest outside chupas.