Western Brooklyn

Community Board Wants to Help Caesar’s Bay’s Retail Recovery

Toys’R’Us set up a tent storefront to continue sales throughout the holiday season.

Some neighborhood retailers are still struggling to catch up post-Hurricane Sandy. After getting hit hard by the storm more than a month ago, merchants from Caesar’s Bay are focusing on a resilient recovery effort. Bensonhurst’s leaders are looking to help them get back on their feet.

Community Board 11 Chairperson Bill Guarinello and District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said the Caesar’s Bay stores have a strong hold in the economic standing of Bensonhurst.

While inland stores like Best Buy were not badly damaged by the hurricane, merchants located closer to the shore, like Babies’R’Us and Kohl’s, have struggled to fully reopen. Helping these retailers regain stability is vital to the success of this neighborhood, board leaders explained. Otherwise, Guarinello said, “Our local economy is likely to suffer.”

But simultaneously, Guarinello said that a more direct line of communication is needed with retailers. He added that merchants need to speak with the Community Board and explain what kind of aid they need most.

“If they want help, they’ve got to let us know,” he said.

Once they establish the best way to assist the area, Gaurinello said that Board leaders’ first step would be to contact the government and request more immediate relief assistance. “We can ask them to give these guys some priority,” he said.

Comparing this neighborhood to Coney Island and Sea Gate, Guarinello explained that, “Bensonhurst did not take a major hit. We had some flooding. Very little power outages.”

But, Guarinello said that Caesar’s Bay suffered badly, adding that the effects of Sandy on this shopping area will likely outlive this holiday season and carry over into 2013. “[Caesar’s Bay stores] took a hard hit. Our shoreline has been collapsing. We’re going to try to be helpful.”

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