Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pawn Shop Opens on Franklin (?!), Residents Ready to Riot

Well, this is unexpected. I was preparing a post tonight on more new businesses, specifically Bristen's unveiled menu (hand-pulled noodles, in soups and pan-fried, in the $5-7 range) and the rumor that the Franklin Park empire is looking to expand to a new location at 724 Franklin (right across from LaunchPad and next to MySpace Realty), but I didn't think they would include a brand-spanking-new PAWN SHOP opening up in the same building as the BNI Express Laundromat on the corner of Park and Franklin, on the very same block that may soon be the first part of the Crow Hill Historic District. So much for the boilerplate post about gentrification.

In all seriousness, pawn shops are absolutely terrible for neighborhoods. Studies by legal scholars and law enforcement professionals are clear and unequivocal - the presence of pawn shops, even those that strive for legality (and many, some say most, do not), increases crime, specifically property crime. The connection is obvious: people steal things, sometimes assaulting people, violating homes, and destroying other property in the process, and pawn them for cash. Pawn shops are also bad for property values, neighborhood image, etc, but these reasons pale in comparison to the simple fact that this pawn shop will make Franklin and the rest of the neighborhood less safe.

Tonight, residents gathered in front of the pawn shop and laundromat in protest, chanting "stop the pawn shop, protect your community," and more rallies are planned (details to come). The CHCA has also put together a petition (full text below), which isn't online yet but will likely be available to sign at LaunchPad and About Time Boutique. Some folks are also calling for a boycott of the pawn shop, which I would second (eventually, they can't buy stolen goods if no one buys them at the shop, right?), and a boycott of the adjacent laundromat, which I would only second if they are the owners of the building or the pawn shop - if not, they had nothing to do with it. Word has it that the 77th Precinct is also deeply concerned about the new shop and the spike in crime it will bring.

All of that said, I'm not sure that anything can be done the legal side to stop them, as they've already moved in, meaning they've likely cleared the bureaucratic hurdles (zoning, community boards, etc) and possession remains nine-tenths of the law. That doesn't mean nothing can be done, of course, but that the fight to come will be social and economic (boycotts, shaming, etc), not legal. Thoughts and information are welcome.

Petition - UPDATED

We the undersigned are vehemently opposed to the opening of a Pawn Shop/Cash Loans establishment in the Crow Hill community of Crown Heights. For years, residents and merchants have been working tirelessly with our elected officials and the 77th Precinct to revitalize Franklin Avenue. While we have made vast improvements there is still more work to be done and we feel it is grossly irresponsible to put this type of establishment next door to a drug/alcohol rehabilitation facility, in an area that continues to battle illicit street activity.

20 comments:

  1. Nick, first of all, love ILFA. Thank you for providing this service for the neighborhood. If we really want to make sure the pawn shop never opens, we need to put pressure on the owner of the building, who presumably also owns BNI. If we had her/his name, address, phone number -- and if we knew definitively that the owner of BNI was the same person responsible for the pawn shop -- we could organize a letter writing campaign and phone bank to let the owner know that the community will boycott BNI if s/he opens the pawnshop next door. Maybe an ILFA reader has or can find out that info, and then Nick you can post it here for readers.
    - Ben

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  2. Here's the info on BNI:

    BNI Express INC
    DCA Lic # 1306063
    Exp 12/31/11

    The owner is Boris Kariyer and his phone number is 718 676 1026.

    I just called that number and spoke to one of Mr. Kariyer's employees. She said that BNI is not connected to the pawn shop operation. I asked for the name of the landlord who owns the property, but she didn't have that info. She said that Mr. Kariyer will be at BNI today at 3:00 pm, in case anyone wants to chat him up.

    Encourage others to call his office and try to get him on the phone. Even if BNI isn't involved, Kariyer can hopefully help put pressure on the landlord to prevent the pawn shop from opening.

    -Ben

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  3. if you cant stop a mask from ground zero and over 3000 people died why would any one want to close a pawn shop pawn shops help people when they need a loan or broke and dont we live in america

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  4. If run well, a pawn shops doesn't need people to buy their goods to make money.

    Pawn shops can simply make money from people who pawn their own goods, and then redeem them later for a fee. Wedding rings, power tools, electronics and musical instruments are the traditional staples.

    There are a lot of them around .....

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  5. Geez, someone had to make a "9/11 mosque" analogy? Really? Reeeeaaallllly? Was the spelling intentional?

    I'm not exactly against the pawn shop opening in that if nothing changes (ie: crime wise) and through good social discourse the business stays on the up and up......so be it.

    But if crime goes up, people see their belongings in there etc (which I have a feeling is what will happen), then the only recourse is to put political and social pressure on said business. Then again, maybe a pawn shop will keep visiting Nets fans away in the future.

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  6. Shut this pawn shop! Period.

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  7. all you people can kiss ass we need a pawn shop

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  8. so where do all the crown hights niggars pawn thir stuff at we need to take a bus or train to find a pawn shop ther is nothing wrong with haveing a local pawn shop so i would support it ans i live on franklin ave

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  9. i met the owner of the "pawn shop" today and the land lord of the building. They both made it clear that they have read the blogs and DO NOT care about a pawn shop coming to the community. As a matter of fact, Mark Weiss (land lord) advised that there is nothing wrong with a pawn shop and the people in "this" neighborhood "NEED" money. WOW. Then the owner of the pawn shop said "i'll just paint a mural and make the outside look pretty" wow. I happened to walk by during the arguing and heard it myself. he supports the pawn shop, he supports the risk of criminals preying on our community, the laundromat is affiliated with the them all and none of them give a crap about any of us, they are all friends. They made it clear. I was happy to see some of the merchants out there defending the community. let's see how many of your friends, daughters and children get robbed this winter. Let the count down begin! 77th precinct has already had discussions about preparing for the danger. wow.... and some people actually want this here? so keep supporting the laundromat that supports the landlord that supports the pawn shop that the owner of the laundromat allowed to sneak material in to do construction... but oh!!! as the sign says on the laundromats door "we are not associated with the pawn shop" .. yeah ok. and Bush was the greatest president who believed the democrats rule! i'll take my laundry up the block and stay far away from that corner. u wont be stealing my iPod mr theif... u wont be snatching my necklace my rat... u wont be pushing my mom on the floor to snatch her purse mr bear... just to run to the corner of franklin ave and park pl. officially known as the "dark corner"... stay far away from that. if you think bullets were flying around b4... u aint seen NOTHING yet. you WILL be subject to a cross fire on that block. dont forget this july a young man was shot right on that very corner. i just might go back to park slope:) and according to many, you so called community members dont stick together. you just complain on blogs. lets see how many start to protest. this could have never happened in park slope... never.

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  10. Guys, from all the research thats been done these past 2 days i've learned pawn shops bring harm to a neighborhood. it's a recipe for disaster.

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  11. protest wow are we liveing in cuba riot wow lets all act like we are african americans so people riot and protest act grond zero what happen nothing but you still support your local arab corner store wow everyone is scared of a pawn shop people grow up and get a life or a job i guess this goverment is nice to ya people by giveing ya free food staps welfare so yal can all sit hope and make problems for small people live and let live cama is a bitch

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  12. i do work for them time to time and for the last 4 months i heard boris speaking to his brother in law sometimes they spoke in russian so i dont understand and some times they forgot and spoke in english so they do own it but they keeping it on the dl
    BNI Express INC
    DCA Lic # 1306063
    Exp 12/31/11

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  13. Despite the signs posted on the windows of the laundry place, they ARE in fact affiliated with the coming pawn shop. PLEASE BOYCOTT THE LAUNDROMAT!! That is the only way to get the owners of the building (who are also owners in the laundromat and pawn shop) to understand that we will not tolerate a pawn shop in our neighborhood. BOYCOTT THE LAUNDROMAT TO BOYCOTT THE PAWN SHOP!! And when you stop going, be sure to pop in to tell them why you are no longer going there to do your laundry.

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  14. Regardless of your opinions, could we all just agree to spell things correctly? It's not that hard to fix the little words underlined in red.

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  15. you are all a bunch of haters then never got nowhere in life pawn is good for the area local people need money why is everyone thinking pawn shop = stolen goods thats not true we have a lot good pawn shop in new york that 100% kosher dont streo type pawn shops thats not right what dont we all give this guy an shot

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  16. CHCA has now "Jumped the Shark"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

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  17. You must be crazy if you think a pawn shop is good for the local people. Pawn shops do NOT provide money to people ... other than the pawn shop owner. Pawn shops deplete communities of their assets and resources. Period.

    What we need more of in this neighborhood are institutions that CREATE value and wealth - banks, credit unions, and JOBS.

    So if I am a hater, so be it. I hate block politics. I hate that our young people have nothing to do all day. I hate that our unemployment rate is higher than the city average. I hate that we stupidly believe that a pawn shop could be our salvation. Give me a break!

    Start talking about a plan to build wealth and bring jobs to our neighborhood and then we can have a serious dialog. Until then, I'm gonna hate.

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  18. What she said. Also, to those trolls bringing up the Islamic Cultural Center (with a mosque in it, yes), drop it - it's a bad comparison, because the community in that instance has been behind them the whole time (the pressure has come because the looney tunes on the far right needed something to do this summer).

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  19. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow /Hey thanks man!! you are so good. I think this the perfect work.

    Shop Electronics

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