Coney Island shop owner says she faces eviction due to rent hike

A Coney Island business owner says she could be facing eviction after receiving a massive rent increase from her landlord.

News 12 Staff

Aug 16, 2020, 5:59 PM

Updated 1,374 days ago

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A Coney Island business owner says she could be facing eviction after receiving a massive rent increase from her landlord.

Lola Star, owner of Lola Star's Gift Shop, is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Councilman Mark Treyger to step in as she says she faces a proposed 500% rent increase from her landlord, Luna Park.

The Coney Island gift shop has been selling T-shirts and gifts on the boardwalk for two decades.

Star says in addition to the rent increase, her landlord is also asking for a percentage of her sales. She says she would have to raise the price of her merchandise to be able to afford the new rent.

The shop owner has been fighting the rent increase since November and has been disappointed by the lack of response from local officials like Treyger.

Star, who's real name is Dianna Carlin, says the only reason she hasn't been evicted yet is because of the pandemic. The eviction ban has been extended for at least another month.

"It isn't fair for them to destroy my beloved business of 20 years for no reason," Star says. "At this point when the city is in an economic crisis and I feel like Coney Island needs me to be part of these next few years, which are going to be really difficult."

The former landlord responded to her claims, saying, "Ms. Carlin has been paying less than 3% of her gross receipts in rent for the last several years before her lease expired, and her rent had not been increased for 10 years. Furthermore, Ms. Carlin has been operating on the boardwalk without a lease this season and we have not engaged in any legal actions."

The landlord added that the only legal communication came from Starr's attorney more than three months after their last proposal that they sent in March.
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