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Crossing the line at Lundy’s - New tenants run into trouble with city, critics

After months of prepping for their debut inside the landmark Lundy’s building at 1901 Emmons Avenue, the operators of Cherry Hill Market have run afoul of both the city and some in the community this week.

On September 26, the Landmarks Preservation Commission slapped the operators with two violations for unauthorized work to both the building facade and the sidewalk.

Nevertheless, contractors were hard at work Monday morning installing more of the new sidewalk when State Senator Carl Kruger confronted them demanding to see a permit.

James Pappas, son of Lundy’s landlord Steve Pappas, told Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo that he was unaware that violations against the work had been issued.

Kruger lambasted the work, calling it a “desecration” and an “assault” on the community.

According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the operators of the Cherry Hill Market can still apply for permits to legally continue their work, but if they fail to respond in a timely manner they potentially face fines of up to $5,000 a day.

Pappas said that the “integrity” of the Lundy’s building will be maintained.

Tenants of the building began to rub some in the community the wrong way when they removed the iconic F.W.I.L. lettering over the entranceway on Ocean Avenue. Similar lettering on two other locations on the façade, as well as the famed F.W.I.L. stamped on the ground in front of the doorway, was also removed.

A realtor working with Cherry Hill said that the lettering was removed in order to repaint the building and would soon be returned after the job was completed.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission did not cite the tenants for the work.

Kruger, however, called the new sidewalk wrapping around the landmark building “grotesque” and demanded that it be “ripped up.”

Both the state senator and CB 15 chair jeered the opening of a business that – among other items – sells fruits and vegetables.

“You’re going to have heads of lettuce in front of a landmark building,” Scavo complained.

Community watchdogs like Scavo are still irked that the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association has so far been unable to reclaim the World War II Memorial that formally hung inside Lundy’s Landing.

According to Scavo, the last time she saw the bronze plaque honoring Sheepshead Bay’s servicemen it was lying underneath a pile of rubble.

Not everyone is against Cherry Hill’s debut, however.

Emmons Avenue resident Jim Cobb said he walks by Lundy’s twice a day on the way to the gym and that he’s happy the long-shuttered building will soon reopen.

“I’m looking forward to a gourmet deli,” he said. “Why attack people that are bringing business to the building?”

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