The announcement that Century 21 has filed for bankruptcy left local leaders scrambling to keep Bay Ridge from losing its largest retailer.
As lines of customers stretched around the block waiting for one last chance to shop at the chain’s flagship store on 86th Street, State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan wrote a letter to Century 21 Co-CEO Raymond Gindi saying they are ready to help keep the store in the neighborhood.
“It is unconscionable that due to your insurance company’s greed and refusal to pay your interruption claim during the COVID-19 pandemic that this New York City landmark will be forced to close its doors,” the two pols wrote in a joint statement. “Our district has proudly been home to Century 21’s original location on 86th Street in Bay Ridge for over 60 years. Your flagship store has been of vital importance to our local economy by providing an excellent customer experience and value while acting as one of our largest employers.”
Earlier this week, Gounardes and Assemblymember Robert Carroll called for the passage of a bill that would mandate that insurance companies honor business interruption insurance claims during the COVID-19 state of emergency in New York.
“We are ready to do everything in our power to help the business to keep at least the original Bay Ridge store open,” Gounardes and Brannan added. “We appreciate all that Century 21 has done for our community over many decades, and we would love to continue this relationship.”
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis said the closure of Century 21 will be terrible for its employees and for the neighborhood and blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio for business failures throughout the city.
“Mayor de Blasio has once again dropped the ball,” she said. “He’s spent months placating far-left demonstrators, fighting with Albany and Washington and letting our city descend into an era of gun violence and street crime instead of reopening New York City and fighting for its businesses and their employees. Whether it’s a major retailer like Century 21 or your neighborhood restaurant, the story is the same. Bill de Blasio’s policies helped put them out of business.”