Friday, July 31, 2015

Defending the Neighborhood

The Galvan Foundation may want more income from the storefront now leased by Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, but members of the community are committed to preventing the eviction from happening.

On Wednesday, after the special HCDPA meeting, First Ward supervisor Sarah Sterling accosted Galvan representatives Rick Scalera and Dan Kent, demanding to know why they were quadrupling the rent for Promise Neighborhood. Scalera revealed that the apartments in the building were renting for "$275 or $350 a month," and the rent on the storefront had to be increased to subsidize the rents on the apartments. He explained that before Galvan stepped in, Housing Resources was operating at a loss of $100,000 a year, and Galvan had provided $700,000 to bail them out. He asserted the action was needed to make the building and the organization fiscally sustainable. Scalera and Kent maintained that $3,200 a month was the market rate for commercial space; Sterling, who is a real estate agent, called it "ridiculously high."

Sterling argued that the benefits to the community provided not only by Promise Neighborhoods but also by the two shops in the Warren Street storefronts should be taken into consideration by Galvan, an organization that professes to promote "affordable housing and related services to low-income disadvantaged persons." In a subsequent email to Scalera and other elected officials, Sterling praised the contribution of Promise Neighborhood's director, Joan E. Hunt, and the positive presence of the office in the neighborhood:
The sidewalk on 2nd is now clean at all times and happy people visit and work there. The neighborhood is much improved because of Joan's efforts. I know as I must drive or walk by at least 2 times a day. The last time city officials were meeting about zoning changes there was a universal interest in having more neighborhood mom and pop stores to restore a sense of community in various areas of the City. Certainly my neighborhood in the First Ward utilizes the corner store. Are we to lose all sense of community? Are we really expected to believe that the Second Street location of around 1500 sq ft will rent for $3,200?????
I rest my case.
In another initiative, independent of Sterling's efforts, a march is being organized by Victor Mendolia to protest the eviction. The march, which takes place on Wednesday, August 5, will begin at 5 p.m. at the office of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, 6 South Second Street, and will proceed to "various locations associated with the Galvan Foundation."


  1. Glad to see things are moving forward to protest this rash act.
    The residential apartments rent for a tenth of the new commercial rent? What form of lunacy is this?
    Why is Galvan suddenly panicking?
    No senior center at the library, evicting commercial tenants, standstills on the construction of a pastiche federal house on Union and the "grocery store" at 5th and Warren. An unfinished "library" and an unfinished Hudson Home new space.
    Are there money problems over at Eric and Henry's? Focus problems? Labor issues? Contractor issues? Vendor issues?
    Why the hiding behind Scalera and the velvet curtain? Why the secrecy? Why the aloof haughtiness?
    This nonsense we are all being constantly subjected to must be addressed in the upcoming mayoral race. Enough is enough.

  2. "you can't fight city hall"

    in this town its called "galvan hall"

  3. Well done, Sarah. $3,200 is a truly ridiculous rent for a store on Second Street. Our 10,000 sq ft store in a prime block of Warren Street might be around that figure, but since when can 2nd Street command anything close to that. Greedy landlords are nothing new. So much for the 'halo' around Galvan's activities, they're no saints.

    1. "No Saints"
      that is so kind, they are so much worse than that.

  4. And let's not lose sight of the fact that two minority owned businesses, that serve the entire community, north and south of Warren Street, are also being throw out.

  5. The "Shrimp Box" has been an economic political gov't grant infested football for decades ... and now this.