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With just two month to go before its Duane Reade takeover, Jim's Shoe Repair is fighting for its life in court. Our sister site, Curbed NY, followed the 82-year-old business to its hearing in front of a Supreme Court judge, where lawyers argued for a proper review of landmark status that they believe the business had been wrongfully been denied of last year.
For those who don't know, the shoe cleaning and repair shop's landlord, developer SL Green, is pushing out the family-owned business so that the Duane Reade next door—which is already 5,500 square feet—can add an extra aisle.
Manager Joe Rocco, the grandson of founder Vito Rocco, said at the time that they were blindsided by the move. "They already made a deal with Walgreens, [Duane Reade's parent company]. They didn't even tell us."
Jim's decided to fight back by filing an appeal for landmark status in April—the store had been denied without a hearing back in October 2013.
"The interior of the shop that is accessible to the public does not appear to have significant interior architectural features to meet the criteria for designation," the Landmarks Preservation Commission wrote last year.
So yesterday, lawyers for Jim's argued " that the LPC violated state law and commission procedure when it denied them a hearing," according to Curbed. On the opposite side, city lawyers claimed that their standard procedure was followed.
Now both parties must wait for a ruling to come from the judge, but Curbed notes that any decision that comes after September 30, when Jim's lease is up, would be basically moot. In the meantime, Rocco is looking at other spaces in the neighborhood to retain their clientele, despite facing high rents there. "We would not want to leave that neighborhood," he said.
· Jim's Shoe Repair Continues Court Battle for Landmark Status [Curbed NY]
· Shoe Repair Shop Filing for Landmark Status Ahead of Closing [Racked NY]
· 82-Year-Old Shoe Repair Store Overtaken by Duane Reade [Racked NY]