Alexander Novak, an attorney for Jacobs Real Estate Advisers of Lawrence, submitted this letter to the editor. It has been slightly edited.
Last Friday, the Mile High gentlemen’s club in North Lawrence was evicted. For over five years the so-called gentlemen’s club has been a bone of contention with the local residents along Rockaway Turnpike.
For many years, over 75,000 cars had to pass huge billboards advertising the club’s business. Various religious and community groups had meetings to elicit the help of local politicians to close down the establishment or to exert pressure on the landlord, Mordechay Movtady of Kings Point, to evict the club. The landlord refused and the politicians’ lawsuits were unsuccessful in court, but still the anger in the community persisted.
Fortunately, a different tactic worked. About eight months ago, Sholom Jacobs of Lawrence bought the mortgage from the bank, which had lent money to the owner of the building back in 2004. Jacobs, whose real estate niche is buying non-performing notes and mortgages and now owns property as close as Rockaway Park and others in the Bronx, Florida and Georgia, was keeping an eye on the Rockaway Turnpike building for over a year.
“I agreed with my neighbors that no one wanted those kinds of signs or that kind of place in our neighborhood,” he said, “and when I saw the mortgage was for sale by the bank I found a group of like-minded investors and we bought that mortgage. Our first priority was to evict the club and get those signs down.”
Jacob’s lawyer, Alexander Novak, said, “we finally got rid of them, and the entrance to our neighborhood is now once again more attractive.”
Jacobs, who sees good value in real estate in the area, intends to find tenants for that spot that will more accurately reflect the neighborhood.
“I am glad to have done a good deed and got a good deal,” Jacobs said.