Posts Tagged ‘Crown Heights’

Community Up In Arms Over Franklin Avenue Pawnshop

October 17th, 2010 by Jonathan Vit

Photo by Jonathan Vit

Struggling with a significant increase in burglaries, Crow Hill residents protested a new pawnshop Saturday that they feel will only bring more crime to their growing section of Brooklyn. It’s a dispute that places the pawnshop at the center of a heated debate over the future of what is arguably the front line of gentrification in the rapidly developing Crown Heights neighborhood.

Opponents argue that the pawnshop, opening at the corner of Park Place and Franklin Avenue, is a step backwards for the budding Franklin Avenue commercial strip. Once a neglected avenue of dollar stores and shuttered storefronts, Franklin Avenue has witnessed a resurgence in recent years as restaurants and bars capitalized on the changing community.

“It is not consistent with what we are trying to do with Franklin Avenue,” said Councilwoman Letitia James, of District 35. “We are trying to attract businesses to Franklin Avenue based on what the needs are of the community and right now the needs of Crow Hill are not for a pawnshop.”

The pawnshop is also located on a block where zoning prohibits pawnshops from opening, said Nina Meldandri, project manager for the Crow Hill Community Association. The association is now working to get Department of Buildings inspectors to the site in an effort to force Community Pawnbrokers to close its doors.

But owner Eugene Josovits says, protest or not, the pawnshop will open.

“I am not breaking the law,” said Josovits. “I have nothing to be afraid of, I followed every single rule in the book.”

Protest chant by jonathanvit

Nina Meldandri by jonathanvit

Mike Bedford by jonathanvit

Stacey Sheffey by jonathanvit