Dec. 16, 2015 By Michael Florio
An application for an outdoor newspaper stand on 31st Street hit a roadblock last night when Community Board 1 decided there was little need for it.
Ashraf Khakan brought his application to place a newspaper stand in front of Key Food Supermarket on 31st Street, between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue, before CB 1 at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
The stand would sell newspapers, magazines, candy, gum and drinks, according to Khakan. It would operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., he said.
However, the Board pointed out that a 7-Eleven neighbors the Key Food, which already sells these items. Board members added that many of these items could be purchased in Key Food as well.
Khakan told the Astoria Post that he believes his stand, which would be located by the 31st Street subway station, would nevertheless be a valuable commodity to residents of the community.
“They would not have to go inside and wait on line to purchase a water or the newspaper,” he said. “They can quickly purchase it as they go to or from the subway.”
Another Board member wanted to know if Khakan reached out to Key Food to see if they have any issue with him opening this newspaper stand. He said he has and they had no issues.
“Impossible,” the Board member responded.
The Board’s Consumer Affairs Committee voted narrowly against the newsstand, with six votes against it and five for it, according to committee Chairman John Katsanos.
The full Board then voted to recommend denial of the newsstand, with 20 members against the stand, and 19 in favor of it. The Board’s recommendation gets sent to the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Despite the Board’s decision to recommend disapproval, Khakan will go forward with the application process and hopes to ultimately receive approval from the City.
“Yes, I still think I should be approved,” he said. “I hope I am.”
“he believes his stand, which would be located by the 31st Street subway station, would nevertheless be a valuable commodity to residents of the community.”
It would be useless to the community, because as stated, there is a 7-11 next to Key Food, a similar news stand near the corner of Ditmars and 31st, and a candy/news/magazine store across the street.
Also, this is 2015. Much of the news can be retrieved online. A very tiny percentage purchase newspapers, which can be purchased by numerous places right now anyway.
They are opening a news stand in front of the Strand on Broadway. Wow it’s like right there in their faces. I think the Strand owners will be pissed since they used that spot in the Summer to do the outdoor BBQ thingy. Plus that spots going to be congested because now it will be narrow spot to pass through and customers like to stand there and smoke cigarettes.
This news stand is unfair to the mom and pop candy stores on that block. They pay thousands of dollars in rent and this guys get away with just small fees. It’s unfair to key food and the other places on 31st street that sell the same item. Totally against this and I pray he does not get approved.
Yeah, it’s unfair to have a business with a lower overhead. Let’s require everyone across the entire city to pay the exact same amount in rent . If you negotiate a lower price to buy items in bulk…too bad. It’s not fair.
Who needs newsstands when you can put a perfectly good food truck or food stand there?