South Street Seaport Still Mostly Closed For Business
The South Street Seaport was hit hard by Sandy and now property owners are trying to pick up the pieces of their destroyed businesses. NY1's Dean Meminger has the story.
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Boarded up stores, destroyed merchandise and lights that are still out are all images that now define South Street Seaport
"The neighborhood is completely devastated," said seaport property owner Kit White. "The thing that's really sad is it really just came into its own a couple years ago, and when the street finally came to life and it had restaurants and people 24/7. And then all it took was 12 hours and everything is gone."
White has been working day and night to get his property and businesses back up and running.
He says many of the historic buildings in the area flooded.
The Super Dry clothing store, despite its ironic name, was no match for all the water -- and it wasn't the only one. The businesses at Pier 17 are closed and the area is off limits to visitors.
"There have been a number of tour buses that have stopped by and people have gotten out and they've been in shock also," said Small Businesses Services Commissioner Robert Walsh.
Walsh says his agency is doing all that it can to help businesses reopen at the seaport and in other devastated communities.
"We now have loans up to $35,000 dollars with a grant attached to that," he said.
Usually on a Friday night and throughout the weekend the South Street Seaport is jumping with people. But in the wake of Sandy it remains a ghost town -- and that is a big problem for the economic recovery for many of these businesses.
"I still come through to take a look at it -- shake my head but I'm alive," one man said. "There are people who lost their lives on this."
"Unfortunately I'm getting kind of use to it, it doesn't shock me," one man said. "I remember right after the storm I would come down every day just to checkout the neighborhood and it was shocking to see it like this."
For some office buildings in the area, the lights are on, but that's only because of huge generators.