After more than 40 years of registering kids for baseball in the same Bell Boulevard location, the Bayside Little League faced with significant rent increases after new owners took over its building has relocated to Whitestone, the league commissioner said last week.
The leagues new headquarters will be at 25-50 Francis Lewis Blvd., Commissioner Bob Reid said, in space held by Clearview Paints.
He offered a spot thats double the size, for minimal rent, Reid said of Clearview Paints owner. Hopefully, well be up and running by the end of February.
The Little League had occupied its office at 213-37 39th Ave., less than a block off of Bell Boulevard, since at least the mid-1960s, Reid and other members of the group said. The league shared the large building with the Bayside United Artists Movie Theater, the Bayside Camera Shop, Philips Brokerage of Bayside and A Place for Posters.
Late last year one shop, Philips Brokerage of Bayside, moved to other offices on Bell Boulevard. This week, Bayside Camera Shop owner Jacques Adrian said he would not reopen his business when renovation of the building is complete.
The fate of the theater building, on the corner of Bell Boulevard and 39th Avenue, was in doubt after Colorado-based United Artists filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors in 1999 and sought to sell the building.
A pair of Bayside businessmen, lawyer Terry Triades and his partner Herb Suib, purchased the building for $2.2 million in October.
The new owners told the TimesLedger in December that they were renovating the building and would offer the Little League space on the second floor. To stay where they were, Triades and Suib said, the league would have to begin paying a market value rent, a cost higher than the rent the group had been paying.
Reid said the groups final weeks in its longtime headquarters were tense and that the new owners seemed not to have compassion for the program.
I dont know if they understood that we are all volunteers, Reid said. We had to go out and work our regular jobs and then look for new space.
The Little League was founded in 1950 and serves about 900 kids between the ages of 5 and 18 and its staff works on a volunteer basis.
In early October the Bayside Little League got an unpleasant surprise when it opened its office to register children for play, only to find the office flooded by hot water from a second-floor bathroom sink.
The water soaked the rug, blew out half the ceiling tiles and ruined several plaques and desks positioned along a back wall in the office. Reid said several Little League records were damaged but salvageable, while the equipment was spared by the flooding.
No one claimed responsibility for the mystery flood.
While the Little League jumped ship from the movie theater building, which has been under construction since last fall, the fate of the other commercial tenants has been unclear.
Suib and Triades said in December they had hoped to have the first floor ready to be occupied by the end of January, but the interior of the building was still unfinished last week.
Adrian, owner of the Bayside Camera Shop, said after 28 years he was retiring from business. The longtime Bell Boulevard merchant said he was sure they wanted higher rents.
I just called it quits, he said. It was time.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community News Group
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