Letter to the Editor: Bye Bye Rockaway Turnpike Eyesore

How local residents closed down the contentious gentleman's club.

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.

Dr. Murray Vindaloo February 26, 2012 at 12:13 AM
This is not a "good deed" - while I did not frequent this "Mile High" gentlemen's club - I can tell that these "good deed doers" just wanted to make a buck and still look good. The buck, for Mr. Jacobs was the "good deal," NOT the "good deed." You must understand that this kind of Taliban-style "justice" - mixed with a "tribal leader's" profit motive - is utterly dispicable and anti-American. This was NOT a neighborhood. And, there is no more billboard to be an "Eye-sore." I must say that other commercial billboards on the turnpike, both in the past and currently, are far more otfensive. How come nobody complained when that political stud, Harvey Weisenberg, donned a speedo for his "important" campaign to put expiration dates on suntan lotion. I know Mr. Novak, not Mr. Jacobs, and I can safely say that they probably feel really pleased with themselves. They stuck firm to their "religious beliefs," believe they did a "good deed," for their friends and business pals, and best of all, "got a great deal." Let me tell you, the entire South Shore region is becoming a pay-for-play outpost of Afghanistan.
Eric Frankel February 26, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Dr Murray, As you mentioned you don't know Mr. Jacobs so please don't pass any judgment on his motives. I do know Mr. Jacobs and he is a man of impeccable character that its constantly working to help the community. I have personally been witness to the many charitable acts that Mr. Jacobs does on a constant biases that have no monetary gain or recognition. I would like to congratulate Mr. Jacobs on a job well done and wish much success in this venture.
Dr. Murray Vindaloo February 26, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I don't care about hearing about any "charitable acts." This is the veil and shield to too many scumbags, like Madoff, and many slumlords. The law protects strip clubs and their lanlords even when we don't. I find Mr. Jacobs point of view, method of accomplishing his suspect goals and undisguised avarice - his intention to hold the property "one" whole "year" and then, presumably flip it for a big profit - dispicable and this sad attempt at "good" pr, riduculous and laughable. I think I liked the strip club better than this guy - but, I now neither of them!
Dr. Murray Vindaloo February 26, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Why doesn't Novak take down this letter to the editor of patch.com? It is an embarrassment to the area's Jewish community, American jurisprudence, The field of public relations and America!


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