A garbage war is brewing between a West Side grocer and a Dermot-owned luxury tower that the store owner claims is piling up massive amounts of trash bags in front of his business for more than 24 hours at a clip.
The New York Post first reported that Avi Kaner, owner of the Morton Williams supermarket at West End Avenue and West 60th Street, has been complaining to representatives from 21 West End Avenue, a 48-story skyscraper across the street, that his business is suffering because of the waist-high, half-block long bags of detritus the condo is leaving for Sanitation pick-up in front of his store three times a week.
“They literally roll the garbage out from across the street and dump it in front of our store,” Kaner told The Real Deal.
The store’s manager, Danny Cowan, said the problem has persisted since it opened two and a half years ago and has some customers confused about whose waste it is.
“Customers think it’s our garbage and wonder why we leave it there,” he said. “Sometimes they throw out mattresses or an old chair and they say, ‘It looks like a junkyard out there.’”
On Saturday, Cowan said garbage bags that were plopped down around 3 p.m. on Friday were finally picked up in the early morning hours, but recycling bags were still reaching for the sky.
“They are up to my neck,” he said.
Because the supermarket sits on a street owned by Dermot, the landlord has the right to agree upon a garbage pickup area with the city’s Department of Sanitation — in this case away from the entrance to a building where tenants pay rents advertised between $5,200 and $10,000 a month, according to the Post.
“It’s a private street and they can put the garbage wherever on the street they want, subject to DSNY approval,” said Jay Itkowitz, an attorney for Dermot Company, the real estate firm that owns 21 West End, told the paper. “Obviously, my client has not put an application in [to the city] to put the waste material in front of their own building.”
Recent emails from Kaner prompted 21 West End Avenue general manager Charlie Albor and Dermot vice president of property operations Sara Getlin to promise to refrain from taking the garbage out until 3 p.m. at the earliest and to move the garbage to an adjacent corner.
But that doesn’t do much for Kaner, who says the refuse would then be near a second entrance to the store.
New York City-based Dermot has more than $2 billion in assets under management. Its website says, “We recognize that our business has an impact on the environment, and are dedicated to investing, building and operating our portfolio responsibly.”
[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli