Caz landlord raises rent

Caz landlord raises rent

Business district hasn't enough business for rent hikes

By Willie Kiernan

As the new year approaches and the old one slips away, Cazenovia changes whether it wants to or not. The economy has hurt the local businesses, however the college is booming. There isn't enough business to spread around downtown, yet developers want to build more stores with higher rents. Albany Street may look the same as always, but Cazenovia's Historic Business District is more historic than it is business.

By The Lake Books is moving out. Nancy Marland will be doing business out of her home in Erieville. Bad enough she had to compete with online shopping, then when she had problems with village officials, she decided it was enough.

The Cheshire Cat will be moving into that spot at the end of January. After David Muraco bought the McLaughlin building and made some changes in the rent and utilities, many of the tenants have decided to leave.

Sally and Tizzy's are unsure of their next move. Sally's has been a mainstay in the village for more than 13 years, while Tizzy's, a three-membered group, just partnered up in June.

"The day after he closed on my building, there was a paper in the door from Empire Management that basically said screw you we own the building now, asking for my social security number," said Sally Collins. "One day Muraco walked in the door and told us he wouldn't raise the rent until he made some upgrades. Two weeks later he said he wouldn't raise the rent until the spring. Two days after that he sent a certified letter informing us that rent was going to be raised by $250 and that we would have to start paying for heat retroactive from October. What he's doing is, he's bullying me."

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