No one knows who is weaponizing the DOB against small businesses

Over 200 calls about unauthorized signs were made to the city in Brooklyn alone, up from 23 during the same month last year.

TRD New York /
Dec.December 11, 2018 11:00 AM

(Credit: iStock)

It could be an irksome neighbor, or possibly devious and savvy business rivals. Perhaps it’s a developer intent on pushing small retailers out?

No one knows who’s making the calls, but close to 1,900 complaints have been filed for illegal signage this year, and over half of them have been made against Brooklyn businesses, according to a report in the New York Times. Over 200 calls about unauthorized signs were reportedly made to the city in Brooklyn alone last month, up from 23 during the same month last year. Complaints in Queens have doubled.

With fines starting at $6,000, people are using the city’s Department of Buildings to target small businesses who are already facing unprecedented pressures.

“People are afraid,” Zaid Nagi, vice president of the Yemeni American Merchants Association, told the Times. “They are asking, why is New York City pushing the little guy out?”

The complaints center on signs that have not received the required special permits, a requirement of a decades-old city law that was implemented to safeguard against falling signs or block fire escapes.

In a statement, the DOB said it was not “targeting businesses around the city for sign-enforcement efforts” but that its inspectors investigate sign complaints in a neighborhood “when they are in the area for other matters.” [NYT] — David Jeans 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
518 Broadway (Google Maps)

Four years vacant: Landlord offers dire outlook for Soho building

Four years vacant: Landlord offers dire outlook for Soho building
Vornado CEO Steven Roth with 1535 Broadway and 220 Central Park South (Getty, VNO, Google Maps)

Vornado sees $100M retail JV loss, $190M in 220 CPS gains

Vornado sees $100M retail JV loss, $190M in 220 CPS gains
AMC’s financial woes have left the movie theater chain strapped for cash and facing in-court restructuring of its liabilities. (iStock; Getty)

AMC faces serious cash crunch despite theaters reopening

AMC faces serious cash crunch despite theaters reopening
Brooklyn’s home sales dipped in Q3, but the median home price was above $900K (iStock)

Brooklyn home sales drop by 57%, but prices rise

Brooklyn home sales drop by 57%, but prices rise
1491 Bedford Avenue and 25-98 36th Street (Google Maps)

Muted week for middle of the i-sales market

Muted week for middle of the i-sales market
(Illustration by Maciej Frolow)

Does Brookfield’s balance sheet fully reveal the health of its real estate?

Does Brookfield’s balance sheet fully reveal the health of its real estate?
Nightingale's Elie Schwartz and Madison's Brian Shatz (Whale Square)

Nightingale buys Whale Square in Sunset Park for $84M

Nightingale buys Whale Square in Sunset Park for $84M
198 Washington Park in Fort Greene (Photos via Compass)

Fort Greene townhouse, 30 feet wide, led Brooklyn luxury sales last week

Fort Greene townhouse, 30 feet wide, led Brooklyn luxury sales last week
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...