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Peralta: Roosevelt Avenue is the Times Square of old, calls for commission to combat crime


Aug. 29, 2016 Staff Report

State Senator Jose Peralta called on the New York State Liquor Authority to stop issuing liquor licenses for the next 12 months to new nightclubs along the Roosevelt Avenue corridor today, in an effort to cut back on crime and clean up the area.

Peralta presented a multifaceted plan to improve Roosevelt Avenue between 74th Street and 114th Street, urging stricter enforcement of cabaret license laws by the Department of Consumer Affairs and additional legislation to increase fines and penalties for violations of those laws.

“The number one complaint I get as I walk up and down this district is ‘when are we going to finally clean up Roosevelt Avenue,’” Peralta said. He explained that the issues he hears about include drugs, gangs, prostitution, sex trafficking, fake IDs, employment agency scams, and rental scams, among others. “The time has come once and for all to clean it up,” he said.

Peralta compared Roosevelt Ave. to the old Times Square, before it was cleaned up in the 90s by new legislation under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “There is an urgent need for action to be taken, so I hope Mayor de Blasio is listening,” he said, noting he has reached out to de Blasio with letters twice.

“This is not an easy task, there is a plague of criminal activity on Roosevelt Avenue, and cleaning up Roosevelt Avenue is a colossal task. It’s a titanic effort. Words and promises are no longer enough.”

One major factor in criminal activity along Roosevelt Avenue is nightclubs, or any establishment with drinking and dancing, functioning without proper cabaret licenses, Peralta explained.

He said that only six businesses operating along Roosevelt Avenue between 74th Street and 114th Street have valid cabaret licenses. His primary priority would be cracking down on violations of cabaret laws, including introducing new legislation that would allow the DCA to issue fines up to $10,000 and suspend licenses for 60 days. It would also allow the DCA to take in to account past violations when a business applies for a new license.

Peralta’s proposal would also enable the DCA to reject any cabaret license applications if the community board overseeing the area felt that the business “will have a negative impact in the surrounding neighborhood.”

Peralta said that the Roosevelt Avenue stretch has a great deal of vitality during the day. “And then at night it transforms in to something completely different,” he said, citing heavy criminal activity along the avenue.

Peralta said he is preparing legislation that would put together an 11-person commission to examine the issues facing Roosevelt Avenue between 74th Street and 114th Street. The commission would be in operation for five years and would release an action plan within the first year.

The members would include representatives of the 110th and 115th police precincts, a representative from the DCA, representatives from Community Boards 3 and 4, merchant representatives from CB 3 and 4, and representatives from the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Health, the New York State Liquor Authority License and the Fire Department.

“Roosevelt Avenue for the most part is a vibrant, most important aspect of Jackson Heights, and there are just a few operators who really detract from it,” said Giovanna Reid, the District Manager of CB 3, who spoke in support of Peralta’s plan.

“If you’re not doing it right, this is a strong message to you that you’re going to get wiped out, whether it’s in fines, whether it’s in penalties, or whether it’s in being shut down,” said Arelia Taveras of the New York State Latino Restaurant Bar and Lounge Association. “This is for the bad apples that are not operating correctly, for everybody else you’re going to love it because you’re going to thrive, no more liquor licenses to the bad establishments,” she added.

The SLA and Councilman Daniel Dromm’s office did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.

(by Doug Letterman)

(by Doug Letterman)


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damaris lopez

i bet if any food vendor shows up in park avenue with a home depot cart with meat, bananas, corn or any other food being cook on top of it, the fbi cia police swat will stop it immediately, our politicians in jackson heights corona elmhurst are all talk no action, in our area after gulliani had the b…s, ALL INFORMAL STREET FOOD VENDORS SHOULD BE REMOVED, every corner has a taco stand a fruit stand and it is a mess, politicians dont live in the area so they dont care, lets see how long this propaganda lasts it has been almost 20 years after guiliani cleaned the streets


I say leave it like it is. Leave all the crap up by Corona. The whole Avenue is a 3rd world country. Leave them there dont ruin another neighborhood when this one is ruined already. Nobody speaks english anyway


I remember not so many years ago when Peralta was protesting and attacking the cops calling them racists for going after these flea bag bars. Back when the local cops were giving them to tickets and aggressive inspections. He got a lot of mileage out of accusing them of targeting Latinos when that’s all that was there causing a the trouble.

Now this bozo is singing a different tune in front of the new crew of arrivals, namely, the hipster/millenial trust fund junkies from far away. They don’t
like these crummy low life bars. But when he goes out late on the weekends to get bombed and looking to get lucky with an illegal alien bimbo he has no problem being in one of the sleeze joints.


The 115preicinct is not responsive enough, why are they not watching the right areas.they stop n frisk minority and delivery men all the time though

damaris lopez

115 is a mess, you walk in to that place and everyone starts to grab papers acting busy, you ask something police officers dont look into your eyes, no eye contact they are miserable themselves i hope when the budget passes they close that place, they are no help anyway


Not to mention one huge problem for Roos is that it’s a border for 2 precincts. The 110th has jurisdiction for the south side, 115th the north side. I would imagine that can cause a few hot potato problems. If it’s such a sore area, they should just give one of them complete jurisdiction for it, then there’s one pct accountable for it, and accountable for the cleanup. Give ownership and then you give accountability. Give accountability you give a fire under the problem.


These changes need to happen before gentrification really comes here. The councilwoman Ferreras was doing the bid on roosevelt to keep the businesses alive and clean the mess up. We need to protect the community

Juan Verdad

Also, the 7 train tracks above Roosevelt Ave are a complete eye sore. Peralta should reach out to the MTA to paint the whole infrastructure along Roosevelt Ave. That alone will make a big difference.

Trump for president

Elect Trump people and all these pieces of trash will be sent the hell back like they belong.
Bringing down the value of your homes and don’t forget it. It’s the truth they are no good to anyone and if you want to really get them out send immigration and the IRS to go do a surprise audit on each place.


Now don’t start getting insane with the Trump talk! The value of my home has nearly tripled and I’ve only lived in Jackson Heights for 5 years. If your’s is going down, it might have something to do with you.


Good for you, Senator! Jackson Heights is a beautiful, vibrant neighborhood and shouldn’t be dragged down by drugs, prostitution, trafficking and other illegal activity. More bars like “Terrazza 7” and fewer like all of the “gentlemen’s clubs” that are magnets for trouble. A sleazy, ugly Roosevelt isn’t good for the neighborhood and it’s time to change. I hope you can get Mayor De Blasio to step up his support.


From the DNAInfo article: “A main criticism of that plan was that it would further gentrify the neighborhood, a suggestion that was brought up at Monday’s press conference.”

Screw that! Stop stabbing people, stop urinating in the middle of the sidewalk, stop starting fights, stop molesting young girls, stop following women home, etc, etc and nobody will want to push you out. If these behaviors won’t stop then I say gentrify the hell out of Roosevelt!


Never mind Roosevelt Avenue. Northern Blvd. is getting just as bad. From 88street to at least 80th. there are so many bars. Enough is enough.


Completely agree. Young teenagers acting like hard core gangbangers, stabbings and robberies happening during the day. The park on 77th street is not even safe after 5 pm. You don’t feel comfortable walking with your young kids anymore through northern blvd especially on the corner of 80th street with those wanabe thugs.

Ruth Jara

I am glad you decided to clean this I hope you clean all the vendedor the food and the people to sell the fruits because their is a lot of contaminated and plumb.. I hope they put more garbage throw the garbage and the recicling… I live in jackson hts every day is getting worse and I hope I become better…


I prefer people that are selling fruit and vegetables and making an honest living then all those drug dealers, prostitues and etc. Yes Roosevelt needs a clean up but people selling food shouldn’t be the way to start!


How and what you think it means to clean up roosevelt? It s not healthy for the trains to pass with the prticles going into open fire and foods, needs to be control looks like my country


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