For the first 60 out of approximately 400 residents that are losing their homes to 2nd Ave. Subway construction, it is finally beginning to sink in that the MTA is serious about demolishing their buildings. As the accomanying graphic shows, the MTA is in the process of purchasing six buildings near 2nd Ave. that will be destroyed to make way for a station at 72nd St. The Daily News talked to two of the soon-to-be affected tenants and their attitudes were one of despair and one of resignation.
"I'm sick," said Costa, a retired waiter and cook who moved into the tidy studio apartment when he arrived in the city from Italy in 1972. "After all these years, they're gonna kick me out? This is my home. This is it."
"I can't afford to pay $2,000 rent," Costa said. "Hopefully they can come up with something. They have the money, right?"
The MTA is required by law to find displaced tenants comparable spaces at comparable rents, but is beginning to realize that this could be extremely difficult without moving tenants to the far reaches of NYC's boroughs. A real estate expert weighed in on the MTA's prospects:
"It may be disingenuous for the MTA to say we're going to find apartments for comparable rents unless they're able to pull some strings with friendly landlords," said Dennis Feldman, a vice president with the Corcoran Group.
If the MTA is in any way banking on favors from "friendly landlords", those displaced tenants are in serious trouble.