Bronx coalition rallies to support businesses facing eviction

The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition held a rally in support of local small businesses that are facing eviction.  
A total of 12 businesses along Kingsbridge Road and Jerome Avenue are facing eviction due to not having long-term leases, with some not having leases at all.  
“Twelve of our businesses are facing displacement. How do we expect anyone to operate a business and feel secure about their stability? Leases guarantee stability,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, who joined Thursday’s rally.  
The owner of Duo Sporst Life Nutrition, Osmer Colindrez, says he’s been paying month-to-month for four years. The property owner, Henri Kessler, says when he took the property over seven years ago, none of the stores had leases.  
“These tenants enjoyed those retail stores between 20-30% of the actual rental value, and they know it,” said Kessler. “I was eventually going to knock it down and put a building up.” 
Kessler says that he no longer plans to put a building up and instead is selling the property. “Within the next two to six months, there’ll be a buyer and these tenants will have to leave and they’ll put up a building there.” 
Officials and community organizations say they will keep advocating for their local businesses to stay intact for the neighborhood.