Neighbors, merchants rejoice – Foot Locker property cleaned

In what is a stunning before and after, the owner of commercial property at 35 Westchester Square has finally cleaned the rear of the store, and granted the city permission to allow various agencies to keep it that way in the future.

Weeds were out of control in the rear of 35 Westchester Square as well as a chronic graffiti issue in the back of the building facing Benson Street, has finally been resolved by the property’s management.

The rear of the building, the former site of Woolworth’s and currently occupied by Foot Locker, is now clear of all graffiti, and sources said that the owner is allowing the city to perform graffiti cleanups and garbage removal whenever the problem arises again.

“I am glad to see the good corporate responsibility in responding to the calls of the community to do this,” said John Bonizio, owner of Metro Optics and president of the Westchester Square Merchants Association. “Some people don’t understand that they are responsible for their property. At least the owners responded to the complaints.”

Bonizio’s group had asked the owner of the store to perform a clean up in the rear of the property, removing both weeds and graffiti in the months leading up to the dramatic change. Bermuda Management, which is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the property for the owner, at long last responded.

“It was the landlord that performed the clean-up this time,” said Sandi Lusk, of the Westchester Square Zerega Improvement Organization, which had also been calling for the cleanup. “I believe that the landlord has also given the city a waiver so they can touch-up the property in the future.”

Lusk said that she believed Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s was instrumental in getting the landlord to cooperate with the city, which at Vacca’s request sends Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Community Assistance Unit’s graffiti clean-up truck through the streets of Westchester Square and Zerega periodically.

“This clean-up is a great visible symbol of positive change in the community,” Lusk stated. “This is the first of more positive changes to come for the street and neighborhood.”

Foot Locker property cleaned

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