Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Homeless at Grand Central

From The New York Post:
Joe Germanotta claims homeless people in Grand Central’s basement food court cut his business by 30 percent since he opened Art Bird & Whiskey Bar in 2018.
“The homeless go in there to stay warm. We’re compassionate, but it affects our customers,” Germanotta told The Post this week. “When the homeless invade our areas, it becomes a less attractive place.” Frustrated with what he perceives as the MTA’s refusal to address the issue — along with a bevy of other ongoing issues, like a rodent problem, poorly maintained restrooms and outdated seating — Germanotta is refusing to pay a portion of the $40,000 rent and $10,000 in fees he owes each month. The MTA is seeking $260,000 in rent and fees, which he says he must pay in the next two weeks or the authority will begin the eviction process.
“I don’t think they were prepared [to manage the space],” he said. “Quite frankly, I think they’re more interested in running the trains.”
“I’ve seen people washing their hair in the sink. I’ve seen a turd in the urinal,” he said. If steps aren’t taken to “upgrade” the space, Germanotta said, he’ll leave — and expects to be compensated for the money he’s invested. Other food court vendors said the homeless are hurting their business, too. (Read more.)

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