Seems like the first passengers on the Second Avenue subway line will be hundreds of Upper East Siders shuttled right out of the area. As we noted before, the MTA is planning to raze some buildings where the new station entrances are slated to go, eliminating around 60 residential units. What wasn't previously mentioned is that the move will also wipe out about 35 local businesses. Of course, as a case of eminent domain, this is as textbook as it gets. (A subway is quite clearly an agent of "public good" — a basketball arena, that we can argue about.) There's a concern, however, that the relocation aid offered won't be nearly sufficient. That concern goes double for small businesses. Somehow, we're less worried about "freelance writer Jane Everhart," who shows up in every story on the subject (she now pays $829 a month for a rent-stabilized apartment at 69th and Second), than for cobbler Peter Psirakis, 55, who rents a small shoe-repair store there at $3,850 a month. In their respective amNewYork sound bites, the former is incensed that she may not be able to stay in the neighborhood. The latter matter-of-factly admits he'll be forced out of business altogether. But, hey, at least he'll be able to ride a shiny new train!
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