Public plazas are bad for business

Public plazas are bad for business

Along with my brother Daniel, and my father Sydney, we own the Foodtown of Bay Ridge. First, please allow me to thank you for all the business you give us and please allow me to thank our staff for all their hard work serving you. With all due respect, please know that we are opposed to pedestrian malls like the one proposed along Third Avenue in Bay Ridge. Here’s why.

We and our staff work hard to have low prices, high quality, high service levels, and a strong weekly sales program. We would loose a great deal of business if the street were closed off. There are other days of the year when the street is closed (Third Ave festival, etc.) and on those days our business drops off severely.

We typically have about 50 people working on Friday afternoons and evenings and these people would lose these shifts (and the pay that comes with it) if the proposed mall were passed. This is what happens during the Festival.

In addition, customers would have no driving access to our store. This will severely inconvenience our customers whom we are charged to serve.

Friday is payday for many people. It is common that many of our regular customers come and shop during the afternoon and evening for groceries then. In fact, it is our busiest night of the week. We need our Friday night business to make up for slow times during the week.

If the side streets remain open so that cars can get through, this will not work near our store because the side streets do not line up over 89th street, so cars will not be able to get to our store. Also, we rely heavily on the entire Third Avenue corridor for parking and access to our store. With the street closed, it will choke existing parking making the parking issue for us more severe.

We run two vans for home deliveries (many to senior citizens) every night throughout the proposed area. It will be nearly impossible to deliver home orders anywhere near this mall if this is passed. The van must park as the orders are delivered on the very side streets and along Third Avenue where this mall is proposed. This is unworkable for our business operations because all parking and access will be choked off in the area.

We have a store one block from Yankee stadium that does virtually no business before games. We knew that when we bought that store. Please don’t change the rules in the middle of the game in Bay Ridge.

Noah Katz is co-president of Foodtown, which has a location on Third Avenue at 91st Street.