For the past 20 years, a merchant named Bala has run a business in a triangular space in Greenwich Village barely bigger than a bed sheet. At 25 square feet, it’s the smallest occupied private lot in New York, according to the New York Post.
“If I have money, I’d have a bigger store. But I can’t afford high rent right now,” the Senegalese native told the Post.
Bala sells African clothes and sunglasses from his stall located at 169 West 10th Street, which the Department of Finance values at $46,000, or about $1,840 a square foot.
But Bala is just renting. The owner of the stall is Dr. Abdul Awan, who paid $30,000 for the property in 1983.
“I thought it was bigger than it was,” he said. “Then I saw part of it was cut off. It was a triangle.”
And because the lot is in a landmark district, Awan discovered he couldn’t even alter the miniscule space.
Today he rents the space for about $950 a month, but doesn’t mind if Bala misses a payment if business is slow, as long as he has enough to pay for the stall’s $3,000 annual tax bill.
“He pays me whatever he likes, when he likes,” Awan said. [NYP] –-Christopher Cameron