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Flea flicker: Trashy Ocean Ave. vendors must go: Locals

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Cops must crack down on illegal street vendors who are trashing a section of Ocean Avenue, frustrated locals say.

The dirty dealers leave a mess of clothes, old suitcases, and garbage after their unsanctioned Saturday flea markets, neighbors say.

“At the end of the day they leave the place a dump,” said one neighbor who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from the brazen brokers. “It’s an eyesore. They leave clothes, all sorts of bric-a-brac, and trash on the sidewalk.”

The vendors set up between Voorhies Avenue and Shore Parkway in front of a senior care facility and a shuttered medical clinic on the side of the avenue closer to Gerritsen Beach. Some even use the medical clinic’s abandoned parking lot as their personal repository for trash and unsold wares, he said.

Photos taken on Dec. 5 show a vendor dumping trash over the fence and others leaving trash behind on the sidewalk at the end of the day. Broken lawn chairs, milk crates, and suitcases line the inside of the parking lot fence, photos show.

Officers from the 61st Precinct gave the vendors the move-along last year at the behest of Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) after locals complained to this paper. Deutsch’s office has not received complaints lately about the market, but he will take up the crusade once again, he said.

“I will definitely address the police department if there’s an issue again,” he said. “[Vendors] left a tremendous mess in front of the senior center there before police moved in on it last year. Many seniors had trouble getting to the center because they were climbing over trash and boxes.”

Locals have lodged five complaints for dirty or obstructed sidewalks on the block since 2010 — but none this year, public records show. Others have called 311 complaining of illegal vending, false advertisement, and price-gouging at the address over the last five years, according to a 311 complaint database.

The medical facility sold two years ago, according to a real estate broker that sealed the deal. The new owners apparently don’t care about the mess at the moment, but they will once new lessees move into the building, he said.

“It’s hard to control what goes on there now, because there’s no one using the space,” said Arsen Atbashyan of Commercial Acquisitions. “Whatever happens now they really don’t care, but we think shortly things should be moving over there, whether that’s new construction or moving into the space, that’s up to the leaseholders, but something will happen with the space.”

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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