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After Vow to Stay and Fight, a Move to Washington Heights

Sue PalhakSarah Darville Sue Palchak-Essenpreis

When Council Member Rosie Mendez joined the residents of three buildings on Third Street last month to protest the non-renewal of their leases, Sue Palchak-Essenpreis vowed to stay put past the end of her lease on May 14. And she did just that: her one-bedroom apartment is still jam-packed with bookshelves, and plants are perched on almost every windowsill. But last night, she signed a new lease for an apartment in Washington Heights. On July 4, she’ll move out of her third-floor apartment at 50 East Third Street. But first, she has an appointment downtown.

On Friday, she and her husband Greg Essenpreis will appear in Housing Court in hopes that a judge will keep them from having to pay the legal fees of their landlord, Abe Haruvi. That would mark the end of the high-profile protest against the owner of 50, 54, and 58 East Third Street, who did not renew the leases of some 17 tenants whose contracts with his company, Abart Holdings, were running out this summer. After a few months of outcry, most of the buildings’ residents are now moving on.

Since Ms. Palchak-Essenpreis began organizing tenants, she said, there has been more fleeing than fighting. “There has been a different moving truck in front of the building almost every day for the last two weeks,” she admitted. “After I sent off the e-mail – ‘We’re going to court!’ – it was like a cartoon: everyone ran off.” Read more…

Life Cafe, Mama’s Food Shop Close Their Brooklyn Locations

UntitledPhilip Kalantzis-Cope The East Village location of Life Cafe.

Less than six months after its original location officially closed for good, the Bushwick location of Life Cafe will shut down as well.

Owner Kathy Kirkpatrick explained in a brief phone conversation that her landlord refused to extend her lease on the space at 983 Flushing Avenue.

“My husband and I have gotten over our disbelief, anger and sadness at losing both places in one year,” Ms. Kirkpatrick wrote in a press release. “We see it now as the universe giving us a less than gentle nudge into retirement. We’re now eagerly looking forward to our ‘Adventures Before Dementia.’ It’s time for a little relaxation.” Read more…

DocuDrama: Gathering of the Tribes Told to Leave Within 10 Days

285-287 East Third StreetG.V.S.H.P. The Gathering of the Tribes building.

The battle between Gathering of the Tribes and its landlord rages on.

Yesterday the founder of the art space at 285 East Third Street, Steve Cannon, was served with a formal “10-day notice of termination” for “continued use of the premises as an office and art gallery, which is contrary to the lawful usage permitted by the certificate of occupancy for the building.”

The document (below) goes on to cite a violation from the Department of Buildings, as well as parties that have “disturbed the quiet enjoyment as well as affected the safety of other tenants in the building” as other reasons for the notice. Read more…

Rockit Scientist Records Gets Slight Reprieve

Joe BarbosaSuzanne Rozdeba Joe Barbosa.

Rockit Scientist records will close at the end of April, and sidewalk vinyl vendor Joe Barbosa will remain in his normal spot in front of the store until the landlord finds a new tenant.

Mr. Barbosa told The Local that the landlord gave Rockit Scientist Records, which was expected to close at the end of February, an extension on its lease.

“I’m going to hang here until they rent the place out,” said Mr. Barbosa, who has subleased the space in front of the store for several years. He added he was already thinking of a new spot to sell his records. “Hopefully I’ll be able to find something on this block. Haven’t seen anything as of yet, though.”

Hey, there’s always the minivan option

Tribes Founder Seeks New Landlord

285-287 East Third StreetGreenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The Gathering of the Tribes building at 285-287
East Third Street.

The blind poet behind Gathering of the Tribes is on the hunt for a wealthy benefactor who will buy his building on East Third Street near Avenue C — a move that would, in theory, stop his pending eviction.

In an e-mail forwarded to The Local, Steve Cannon urged his supporters to spread the word that his landlord, Lorraine Zhang, wishes to sell the building.

“Ultimately, what we were told was Lorraine wants to get rid of the building,” wrote Mr. Cannon. “Is there a possibility of any interest in investing/buying the building and making it all Gathering of the Tribes and getting someone to run it?” Read more…

Billy Leroy Meeting With Landlord to Plan Long Goodbye

Billy's Antiques & PropsMichelle Rick

Billy Leroy is meeting with his landlord tomorrow to start planning a huge farewell party before he moves his tented antique shop on the Bowery indoors. The last hurrah, he said, would come at the end of January.

“We’re planning a week-long event of music, poetry, singers, songwriters, and films. There’s going to be a huge lineup. It’s the end of the old Bowery,” Mr. Leroy told The Local today. Billy’s Antiques and Props is moving inside a two-story building its landlord, Tony Goldman, is erecting on the spot in late winter.

Mr. Leroy plans to meet with Mr. Goldman tomorrow afternoon. “Tony’s all for it,” said Mr. Leroy. “He’s very positive about it.”

“There’s no one left from the old Bowery days. It’s been yuppified,” he said.