Second Avenue businesses struggle as subway construction continues

August 02, 2010 09:00AM

Planned utility structure outside the 96th Street station of the under-construction Second Avenue subway

Almost 20 of the 70 businesses on Second Avenue around 91st and 97th streets have shuttered since construction on the new East Side subway line began three years ago, and the ones that remain are struggling to stay afloat, the Wall Street Journal reported. The numbers come from the Second Avenue Business Association, whose director, Joe Pecora, owns a pizza shop on 92nd Street that he says has been suffering from foot traffic that’s down by nearly a third and reduced parking because of the ongoing construction. The problems have also been compounded by the economic downturn. “We need a break here. Businesses are dropping like flies,” said Pecora, who added that many of his neighboring stores have reported sales declines of up to 50 percent since three years ago. To help wait out the project’s completion, shop owners in the area have been angling for tax abatements and grants that have yet to come to fruition, according to Barry Schneider, who heads up the Second Avenue subway task force of the neighborhood’s community board. [WSJ]