Archive for the tag 'mechanics'

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Recognize this auto-shop? It’s the one that has a sign on its garage door that says “blow horn to open.”

Bay Diagnostic, located at 1717 Gravesend Neck Road, has been named station of the month by AAA, after servicing the Brooklyn community in the field of auto-repair for the past 25 years. They specialize in BMW, Land Rover, Range Rover, Volkswagen, Audi, Porshe, and Mini Coopers.

This past year, Bay Diagnostic became an AAA approved auto-repair shop, and this month, they were featured in AAA’s magazine.

It always rocks when local businesses get some national cred!

What are you favorite local auto shops?

Thanks to Thomas C. for bringing it to our attention.

We reported last week that the Sunoco gas station at 2701 Knapp Street is proposing to shutter its automotive service station and replace it with a new 24-hour convenience store.

In the video above, the owner’s attorney Eric Palatnik elaborated on the business’ needs to make the switch, saying that service station revenue has been dwindling nationwide, while convenience stores have been popping up in their place. Following his presentation, Community Board 15 voted to approve the proposal.

Palatnik adds in the video that the gas station will remain open, though they will be filing with the Department of Environmental Protection to replace the underground storage tank.

We called the service station this morning to ask if, when and where they would be moving, but the owner wasn’t on site. His nephew said he did not know of any current plans to replace the service station with a convenience store.

The owners of the Sunoco gas and service station at 2701 Knapp Street are seeking approval to open a 24/7 convenience store at the location, right across the street from 7-Eleven.

Representatives for the property owner will come before Community Board 15 tomorrow night, where they will ask for the go-aheadto remove the automotive service center and construct a convenience store. They will continue to operate the gas station.

“[The owners] are shutting it down because all around the country that’s the way of automotive service centers,” said Eric Palatnik, the owners’ attorney. “They can no longer run in a lucrative manner without providing a secondary means of income. It’s no longer the case that cars are serviced at service stations,” he said, adding that cars are often leased and brought back to dealers when problems arise.

Community Board 15 is required to make a recommendation to the Board of Standards and Appeals for the conversion since the property has been without a Certificate of Occupancy since 1965, when the BSA first gave approval to construct the gas station and required them to obtain one.

“Sometimes the Certificates of Occupancy aren’t obtained when they should be,” said Palatnik, who did not represent Sunoco in any of their previous filings. “I don’t know why they didn’t. They should have, and that’s wrong,” he said, adding that they will obtain the certificate when the convenience store is built.

The conversion to a convenience store mirrors Sunoco’s nationwide business strategy of emphasizing their retail offerings.

“An area of opportunity for us to unlock even more value out of our real estate is by changing our mind-set from a fuels retailer that also sells some convenience items, to a convenience retailer that retails fuels,” said Sunoco’s CEO Lynn Elsenhans in 2010. “We do a good job of retailing fuels and believe we can up our game in convenience retailing.”

But it also puts the store in direct competition with 7-Eleven, directly across the street. Regardless, the conversion – combined with an overhaul and rebranding effort on the premises – will help reinvigorate a blighted intersection, said Palatnik.

“It’s going to improve the heck out of that corner,” he said. “It’s going to be nice.”

UPDATE (3:56 p.m.): We clarified the article by noting that the gas station will continue to stay open. It is only the service station – ie. the mechanic – that will be converted to a convenience store.

Image courtesy of reader Niklas M.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
 
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

– Excerpt from Jabberwocky, by Louis Carroll

The photo you see above is a compelling enough reason why children should go to school, study hard and, for the love of all that is holy, learn how to read and write basic English.

Reader Niklas M. sent us the image of a sawhorse, situated “at the intersection of Jerome and E21, behind Rite Aid,” with the non-words “COOS SIDEWOCK” painted in white letters, and accented with baby blue paint to give it an eye-pleasing 3D effect, across the plank. Niklas writes: “On the other side, on Ave Z, is another ‘funny’ sign. It’s [sic] says something like ‘no porck’.”

We’re fairly certain there are no kosher restaurants in the area advertising “no porck” on their menus — at least not any longer — so let’s analyze a little further.

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The sidewalk in front of LS Auto Clinic, which neighbors say is a consistent problem. This photo was taken late last year showing a before-and-after, when Sanitation officials ordered them to clean the property.

The Board of Standards and Appeals is rewarding a garage that has operated illegally since 2003 with a permit to do business, ignoring objections from the community that they’re bad neighbors and blighting the area.

Sheepshead Bites first reported on the garage – LS Auto Clinic at 2102 Avenue Z – last September, when a reader wrote to us describing it as an “eyesore to our community.” After Community Board 15 unanimously voted to recommend that the BSA reject the garage’s application, Chairperson Theresa Scavo predicted they would be disregarded. “The BSA has a tendency of siding with business owners,” she wrote to us.

Sure enough, that’s what happened.

The Brooklyn Paper reports:

On July 12 the Board of Standards and Appeals renewed the lapsed variance of LS Auto Clinic on Avenue Z in Sheepshead Bay, letting it continue to fix and hand-wash cars despite the fact that residents have been complaining about the shop since it opened more than 10 years ago.

… The city’s five-year permit does comes with several conditions that call for the shop, which is on a triangular-shaped property bordered by Avenue Z, E. 21st Street and Jerome Avenue, to become a better neighbor. Property owner Arkady Nabatov must keep the site clean, line the property with a fence and allow about half as many cars — 13 instead of 24 — to park on the property.

When the Courier visited the auto clinic on Tuesday morning, we saw litter on the sidewalk, but the rest of the area was tidy and organized. Nabatov also followed the city’s conditions, including putting up a fence and parking only six cars on the street. An illegal car wash shed, which was built last year without a permit, was also taken down.

“I have always kept the area clean,” LS Auto Clinic manager Serge, who declined to give his last name. Neither Nabatov nor his lawyer, Eric Palatnik, could be reached for comment.

And Scavo doubts that the property will be tidy for long.

“He just cleaned it up to get his permit renewed,” she said. “I guarantee the place will be back to its filthy old self in a few weeks.”


(Photo by Ray Johnson)

I had to perform an urgent errand for someone whose Volkswagen needed a current NY State Inspection. Time was of the essence and so I rushed out – for what I thought would be a futile effort – in search of a reliable service center that could “see” the car without an appointment and near closing time. It seems to be the rule that arriving after noon at a service center means an absolutely mandatory visit the next day without even so much as a quick look-see.

Well, not-so at Bay Diagnostic. When I saw the tiara-like letter-cutout sign, I figured I should check it out. I pulled right into the shiny, clean garage port feeling like George Jetson pulling his aerocar into the sterile Spacely Space Sprockets factory.

See what I learned about Bay Diagnostic after the jump.
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