MTA agrees to extend lease for parking lot owner at 38th Street Train Yard after pols step in

Sunset Park pols have efficiently negotiated a 27-day lease extension for a 24-year business tenant at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 38th Street Train Yard who had been dealing with an abrupt termination.

Councilmember Alexa Avilés and Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes penned a letter on June 1 to MTA Chair Janno Lieber on behalf of Raymond Lau, who has run a parking lot at the MTA practice yard since 1998, requesting the company rethink the termination of his lease as they and their property administration company, Greystone Management, didn’t conduct correct communications with the tenant. Lau’s lease had been set to finish on June 3.

“Earlier this month it came to our offices’ attention that the Metropolitan Transit Authority through its third party real estate agent Greystone Management, sent a 30-day notice of termination to Sunset Park business owner Raymond Lau,” the electeds wrote. “Mr. Lau and his customers have been ordered to vacate the premises by June 3. Mr. Lau has operated a parking lot on 5th Avenue and 38th Street since 1998. Parking lot users include teachers at nearby PS 24 and local small business owners.” 

Lau obtained discover of 18 violations that wanted to be remediated in October 2020 and resolved all however two of these issued by April 2021, in accordance to the pol’s letter, however the MTA and their property administration company Greystone Management reportedly didn’t reply when Lau requested for directions to remediate fireplace code violations in the 2 buildings on his lot. and as an alternative, Instead, a year later, Lau obtained a discover of the termination of his lease. 

“It is our understanding that Mr. Lau has been a tenant in good standing until recently,” the letter reads. “Given this and the fact his business services many members of our districts we respectfully request that the termination be reconsidered such that Mr. Lau can continue his longstanding business and good faith efforts to remedy outstanding fire code issues on the property.”

Avilés and Mitanyes requested the MTA to rethink their lease termination in its entirety, as they argue that Lau acted in good religion, and permit him to proceed his business and his effort to carry the 2 buildings on his property — which Lau says had been there earlier than his lease started — up-to-code, or at the very least postpone the termination till metropolis colleges let loose on June 30, and offering extra time to Lau’s different tenants who mentioned leaving by June 3 was not attainable. 

“Should the MTA proceed with his eviction, we ask that at the very least an extension be granted to the lease through June 30, 2022, such that teachers at nearby schools do not have to experience disruption for the remainder of the school year,” the elected officers wrote. “Many of Mr. Lau’s other tenants need more time to properly vacate by this Friday and some have cited the inability to do so in short order.”

composite of two women smiling at the camera after extending lease for 38th street train yard parking lot
Councilmember Alexa Avilés and Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes requested that the MTA grant at least a brief lease extension, permitting Lau’s frequent prospects to end the varsity year and giving Lau extra time to assess the problems with the parking lot. Courtesy of Alexa Avilés/Marcela Mitaynes

The MTA elected to go along with the latter choice, issuing Lau a 27-day extension for the parking lot, however not together with his use of the 2 buildings on his property as they’re in violation of the present fireplace code, in accordance to an company consultant. 

Avilés applauded the MTA’s change of coronary heart, with a spokesperson telling Brooklyn Paper that the transfer provides them till subsequent year to determine lecturers’ best choice for driving to college. 

“It’s some relief that teachers will continue to be able to park at Mr. Lau’s lot through the end of the school year, which gives us some time to plan for next year,” the spokesperson mentioned in an announcement, “And we’ll continue to engage MTA about this and other properties.”

The press consultant added that various companies personal property on Sunset Park’s waterfront and aren’t at all times tapped into the neighborhood’s wants. 

“The big picture here is that the South Brooklyn waterfront is owned by a patchwork of entities who don’t always make decisions based on what’s best for our community at large,” the spokesperson added. 

The elected officers mentioned in their letter that they’ve been instructed that when the property is vacated, the MTA will use half of lot for their very own wants, and can lease out the opposite half in one other 10-year lease. 

Avilés and Mitaynes ask that the MTA to think about issuing a shorter lease and dealing with their workplaces to brainstorm neighborhood options for the space akin to inexpensive housing or a neighborhood park. 

“Our neighborhood has many needs, and parking is only one of them. If MTA does not reverse Mr. Lau’s termination, we would like the opportunity to explore the best use of this space for the community,” the letter said. “We request the MTA consider a shorter lease on the property and that MTA engage in a public process to consider other uses for the site such as for housing, schools or green space.”

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