Small business not down with Upper Glendale
by Alexandra Torres
Feb 06, 2013 | 3789 views | 8 8 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles that will examine the business climate on the stretch of Myrtle Avenue that runs through Queens.

Within the last few years, the upper Glendale area of Myrtle Avenue lost some of its oldest businesses, including Frankmart Pharmacy at 78-17 Myrtle Avenue and Belmont Steaks at 79-11 Myrtle Avenue.

Those losses and the growing number of commercial vacancies, especially between 74th and 81 streets, has residents longing for practical businesses in the area.

Glendale resident and Forest Park Civic Association founder Paul Gagliardotto is creating a petition to convince small business owners and potential investors to consider upper Glendale. He will begin circulating the online and paper petition on Friday, February 8.

“We have residents here who are feeling a little neglected because we have to go further away or go to other parts of the community to get what we need on a weekly and daily basis,” said Gagliardotto, “and we’d like to see businesses move to upper Glendale.”

In addition to stores closing, Gagliardotto also noted the move of Forest Park Dental, which relocated from 80-15 Myrtle Avenue to 69-45 Myrtle Avenue, where business on Myrtle Avenue begins to pick up again. The consensus among business owners is that the lack of foot traffic is hurting the local economy and discouraging small business owners from setting up new shops.

“I get very few customers coming in who passed by either by car or just walking by,” said Henry Dischert, owner of Parkside Press, Inc., a printing business located at 74-13 Myrtle Avenue. “Most of my customers are from my customer base,”

Foot traffic is limited because the north side of Myrtle Avenue is the cemetery starting around 73rd Street to 79th Lane, where cars turn onto Forest Park Drive to get onto the Jackie Robinson Parkway. After that, one side is Forest Park, which is virtually uninterrupted until about 88st Street.

All businesses are only on the north side within this area that Gagliardotto is trying to bring attention to.

Michelle Cook-Lopez, manager of Cooks Arts & Crafts Shoppe at 80-09 Myrtle Avenue, believes that parking is a factor that goes hand-in-hand with foot traffic. Some of her suggestions include the strategic selection of bus stops and the addition of a few traffic lights.

The Q29’s last stop is on 80th Street and Myrtle Avenue and it starts its route going back in the other direction on 81st Street, she noted.

“My proposed change is to combine the Q55 stop on the south side of Myrtle Avenue and 81st Street with the Q29 for its first stop,” Cook said as a way that would help Glendale. “There is already ample enough space for at least two buses along the park. The remainder of the park block is already 'no standing anytime.' This would open up a stretch of 81st to more parking.”

Having parking on both sides of the street during the day by turning 80th Street, between 78th Road and Myrtle Avenue into a one-way going south would be another helpful change, according to Cook.

She also suggested allowing daytime and overnight parking on one side of Myrtle Avenue between 80th Street and 79th Lane, which is currently “no parking” on both sides of the street, as well as putting a traffic light at Myrtle Avenue and 81st Street to facilitate easier turns into 81st Street for buses and cars and putting a traffic light at 78th and 81st streets to make that corner safer.

Dena Chimienti, co-owner of Sprinkle of Fun located at 79-05 Myrtle Avenue, says her business is one of few that is geared toward children.

“You really don't have too many places where kids can enjoy and have their birthday parties,” she said. “Nobody has a room anymore at home so you need the space.”

In the meantime, residents are tossing around their own ideas as to the type of businesses that would help upper Glendale thrive. Charles Plenkers is interested in having some closer food establishments.

“If they’d put in a restaurant, like the Belmont Steaks we had, more people would be able to go out and enjoy some food,” he said, adding that a McDonald's or Burger King, a sandwich shop and a small ice cream parlor would all be welcome additions.

Maria Latorres thinks there needs to be more to cater to the elderly population.

“A nice senior citizen’s center would be good, “ she said. “Maybe two or three of them where they can go and relax and not be home all the time.”

Her other suggestions included a closer pharmacy, small grocery stores, a dance studio for children, and more mom-and-pop shops.

“I wish there were a little more,” said Rebecca Trosclair. “There are too many delis and nail salons. I would like to see a bowling alley, restaurants, lounges and more places for people to do more stuff. I have to go on a bus to go to the mall to do something.”

Philip, on the other hand, considered the stores to be sufficient. “I think the businesses are fine as they are,” he said. “It’s a quiet neighborhood, so we don’t really need anything big around here.”

George Lamb, a Glendale resident for five decades, said he does not mind traveling elsewhere to shop.

“I think a lot of the businesses should be turned into residences, because the nature of shopping has changed,” he said. “Fifty years ago they had full-service grocery stores, and we actually used to shop over there. Then we started shopping in supermarkets and Costco, so we stopped going to that local business.

“So we have really less of a need for a neighborhood of stores,” he added, but admitted that a Dunkin Donuts would be nice.

But Hubert Korb, who has lived in Glendale for 56 years, felt differently.

“We had nice businesses, very good businesses, but it’s all changed,” he said. “I’d like to see anything added. Any blocks you go and see the stores closed, put a business in there. Get it going like years ago.”

Comments
(8)
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godfather
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February 20, 2013
ALERT! WATCG CBS NEWS AT 11 O'CLOCK TONIGHT, FEB.20TH.

DRUG LORDS MOVING IN SURBAN NEIGHBORHOODS,,,,,,,

ON DEC.4TH I WARNED WITH AN ARTICLE HERE IN THE GLENDALE REGISTER ABOUT DRUG ACTIVITY IN UPPER GLENDALE.

MAYBE WITH NEW CAPTAIN OF 104 WE CAN ADDRESS THIS SERIOUSLY NOW!
anonymous
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February 11, 2013
https://www.change.org/petitions/bring-resourceful-businesses-back-to-myrtle-avenue-in-upper-glendale

Online petition now available
anonymous
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February 07, 2013
Hopefully things pick up around here. Glendale is a nice neighborhood, all we need is things to be convenient and have a little more excitement in the area. Great article! I wish this would wake up the neighborhood
GEORGEBLOCK
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February 13, 2013
AFTER DEALING WITH REPS OVER THE YEARS RE:FRANCHISES, THEIR SPECIFICATIONS ON LOCATIONS, IMMEDIATELY DISCARD THE UPPER GLENDALE AREAS. MEANING FROM THE LIBRARY TO WOODHAVEN BLVD. THIS IS WHY FOR OVER 50 YEARS YOU WON'T SEE A FRANCHISE ON MYRTLE AVENUE ACROSS FROM THE CEMETERY.

ITS DEAD FOR BUSINESSES.

Some of the goings on, the past 7 years, such as Landlords who own mixed use buildings, right on myrtle avenue, rent to just about anybody. Many end up in court for non payment of rents & evictions.

Next investment owners of Multiple dwelling families off Myrtle avenue, have walked the same road to, the past 5-7 years renting to eventual nightmare tenants.

This is why drug activity has increased big time in this area.

Another detriment to the area of Upper Glendale.

IT IS WHAT IT IS AND WILL KEEP CHANGING NOT FOR THE BETTER, BUT FOR THE WORSE PERIOD!

If many teenagers know and discuss where to buy drugs in the area, and it is so easy to find out, eliminate that threat to the Community.

VIINYBAT
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February 07, 2013
SINCE 1955 THE STRIP FROM THE PUBLIC LIBRARY TO WOODHAVEN BLVD. ON MYRTLE AVENUE HAS BEEN AS DEAD AS THE CEMETERY ACROSS MYRTLE AVENUE. MOST PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLENDALE SHOP IN MIDDLE VILLAGE TO BUY GROCERY, GET GOOD PIZZA, VISIT OLD FASHIONED BUTCHER SHOPS,ETC.. EVERYTHING IS TOO FAR TO WALK TO. PLENTY OF PEOPLE INCLUDING MYSELF WHO USED TO LIVE THEIR, ALWAYS WAS INCONVENIENCED WHEN IT CAME TO SHOPPING AND GETTING RID OF MICE FROM THE CEMETARY.

BUT NOW A NEW WAVE OF DRUG ACTIVITY HAS BEEN GOING ON FROM ST.PANCREAS TO 80 STREET, WELL KNOWN, NEIGHBORS KNOW, AND REPORTS TO THE POLICE ARE FILLED BUT IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE. THE TRUTH IS UP AND DOWN MYRTLE AVENUE FROM ST.PANCREAS TO WOODHAVEN, AND INCLUDING ABOVE STORES ON MYRTLE AVENUE THE TENANTS DWELLING THESE PLACES ARE TOTALLY NEW AND ARRIVING MORE AND MORE FROM OTHER AREAS. LANDLORDS AT TIMES DO NOT CHECK BACKGROUNDS OF TENANTS AND MANY STOP PAYING, Many sell drugs, and torture the Landlords to death.

Conclusion, a big franchise or bank would be more than a miracle to come in this specific area of myrtle avenue.

Lower Ridgewood is always cleaned up, and treated like Astoria in Queens. But Glendale, and decaying Middle Village, is in intensive care period!
salbarzini
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February 08, 2013
How precise is your comment. Right on the nose. The upper Glendale area has been changing for the worse these past 7 years. More drug activity is known by many of the residents in the Community. As far as Myrtle Avenue for businesses, if anything the past 30 years has been a downhill decline with no future of change due to the Cemetery and very little pedestrian traffic.

Throw in the new element of characters of tenants moving in, and the only thing that will increase, is not new businesses opening, but a big a big increase for the 104 in crimes and arrests.
Small Business Owner
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February 07, 2013
Although location is always an issue its not The only problem. The bigger problems are the expenses put on small business's ....rising rents, maintenance,repairs, higher property taxes (commercial property), nyc frivolous fines, salaries, insurances (more then one)......make it almost impossible to make it.Big Business can absorb these expenses easily. As a local business on Myrtle Ave ..... It can be very disheartening. Please support local business we are not just a business we are your neighbors.
kenny@hibu
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February 08, 2013
Dear Small Business Owner,

One way to get your neighbors to support your business, is to remind them you actually are in business. Out of sight, out of mind.

To help you with that, my company is producing a local magazine called Glendale/Ridgewood Life.

To promote your business in this magazine, please call me @ 347-837-5712.

"Everybody knows me", is just not cutting it anymore. You need to stay visible in your market