Bodega Owner: MTA Construction Fence Is Ruining Business

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hidden away behind an enormous blue fence along Grand Street in Williamsburg, is a bodega owner trying to make a living.

The awning was put up by the MTA as they work on a construction project at the Grand Street subway station. But T&A Deli Grocery owner Ismail Mozab said the fence has seriously impacted his business by making the store hard for customers to find.

“The people they think were closed. The store is closed,” owner Ismail Mozab said.

The awning wraps around the block, cutting off access to the store, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported. The only entrance is a tiny opening on Bushwick Avenue.

Mozab said business has declined by around 60 percent since the fence went up, saying the lack of access is financially crippling.

Mozab said he also pays nine thousand dollars a month in rent for the store and because of all this, he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going.

“They kill all my business,” Mozab said.

The fence went up in July, when the MTA begain their $3.5 million repair work and enhancement project on the stairways leading to the Grand Street subway station.

Mozab said he was told the fence would be taken down by early December, but it has yet to happen.

“The completion was pushed back by a month due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding the condition of the staircase,” MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said in a statement. “At no time has access to his business been impeded during the project.”

The MTA said the fence should be gone by the end of January.

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