**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
April 6, 2011
Contact Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191
Council Member James Supports Fort Greene Tire Shop Owned by Haitian Family
The small business is shut down after 26 years
F + S Tires, an old Fulton Street business has been closed by the Department of Buildings. The Joseph brothers, who came to this country from their native Haiti and have been business and property owners for 26 years were told that their building on South Oxford Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn cannot legally house their business. While changing tires on their South Oxford corner, the downtown Brooklyn neighborhood has changed around them.
The brothers received more than $24,000 in fines for building violations, such as for improper support beams, lacking a sprinkler system and garbage in the basement. The certificate of occupancy for the building is another major issue. A DOB inspector informed the Joseph brothers that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain a new certificate of occupancy.
“These Haitian immigrants have outlasted the dark days of drug dealers and crime in this neighborhood. They arrived before the recent renaissance, which began during the 90s, and they continued to thrive. Now, F + S Tire is struggling for survival amid specialty food shops, real estate offices and boutiques. The shop is located in the heart of prime real estate, and property is in high demand,” said Council Member James. “These brothers feel they are fighting against the City, and I intend to let them know they can work with government. I appreciate the will and desire it took for this family to achieve their American dream, and I will help the Joseph Brothers maintain their dream, however possible. If anyone wants more information, please contact staff at my office.”
The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB) and the Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) are assisting F + S Tires, and a hearing for violations will be held on May 16.