The return of Carmen’s Deli

Thanks to the efforts of a whole lot of people, fans of Haitham Iman and his little deli, Carmen’s Deli has signed a 10-year lease in the space at the corner of 2nd and St. Clair in the Kettering tower. The new owner, Albert Macanian of Dunkirk Realty seems to understand how important small businesses on the ground level are- he turned down an offer for more money per square foot from a non-profit that had its eyes on the space.
The best news, is that during the three months it’s going to take to build out the current space, Haitham is going to be able to operate out of the old King Cole/Olivias, Michaels, Mr. Hyman’s rent free- he’ll be open next Wednesday, July 18th, 2012.
Premier Health Partners is even helping out- allowing him to post signs on his former space telling his patrons about the new location.

This was all done with no help from the City of Dayton office of “economic development” or the “Downtown Dayton Partnership”- who would prefer to give away our tax dollars to random businesses or throw parties respectively.

Please make an effort to stop in and see Haitham starting next Wednesday!

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6 Responses

  1. Brian July 12, 2012 / 8:01 pm
    2nd and Jefferson, SW corner.     Congratulations!!
  2. Civil Servants Are People, Too July 13, 2012 / 12:52 am
    That is great news.  I enjoyed my visit to his restaurant and wish him continued success!
    Ah, but you couldn’t let it go without bashing public employees.   So you suggest that the City did absolutely nothing to help.  Is that Haitham’s opinion, or your speculation?  Can you back that up with facts?   Did you talk to anyone at the City about it?   What would Mr. Leitzel say about that?
    And I’m also very curious about how your community gives grants to “random” businesses.    That sounds like an exciting program.   Do they use a lottery system?     Perhaps a roulette wheel of some sort?   Darts?   Please explain how the money is spent in a random way.
    Finally, if Haitham was not lucky enough to win the random grant dart roulette lottery, then what do you believe the City should have been doing to help him, since you claim they did nothing?    It seems that he will be able to successfully relocate his company after all, so what exactly is your beef with the City in this case?
    Give me a break.    Prove it or retract it.    There’s enough BS out there already.    I do not think you are doing yourself any favors when you make unfounded accusations.
  3. David Esrati July 13, 2012 / 10:18 am

    @CSAPT- to be clear- The Downtown Dayton Partnership people don’t qualify as public employees, nor do the people they subcontract as “ambassadors” with a firm from out-of-state who pays their people the lowest possible wage to do what the city should do- clean the streets and provide additional security and safety. That’s what tax dollars are for- and the property owners of downtown office towers contribute a hefty amount of revenue to government.

    That being said- the claim of “no help” came from Haitham. I received a call from Sandy Gudorf from the DDP yesterday afternoon where she refuted it. She claims they bent over backwards to show Haitham all the options- and they were the ones responsible for talking Albert into leasing the space to Haitham. Funny- Haitham thinks it was my doing- in my meeting with Albert. We’ll have to convene a grand jury to probe this… who gets credit for leasing a small deli in the biggest building in Downtown Dayton- one that sold for about a third of it’s former value- with an occupancy rate that’s less than optimal.

    Gee- the DDP has been so successful!

    Sandy claims her organization is voted on every 5 years- and 60% of the property owners must love them and what they are doing since they keep approving it. Note- the percentage is cooked up by a lineal foot figure- not a square foot figure… which may explain part of why almost all of the major downtown buildings with the exception of the Talbot owned by Alan Rinzler and the old DP&L building owned by Ed Kress- have been in bankruptcy.

    And- let’s point out that Sandy makes close to the same amount as the Dayton City manage who has a staff of almost 2,000 and a budget of almost half a billion…. uh, huh? Something wrong here?

    When it comes to the random grants- funny you should ask for proof- had I not spent the time posting “good news”- I would have posted about this giveaway of yours and my tax dollars by the city: 

    The City Commission approved Wednesday a $136,000 development grant to help two local businesses expand and retain their presence in the region.Vocalink, a provider of multilingual communications and translations will receive $36,000 to expand its company. Southwest Ohio Ear Nose and Throat Specialists will receive $100,000 to relocate and retain Dayton location.“It is important to us to offer incentives to them as a way to expand and retain the jobs that they provide,” said Amy Walbridge, special projects administrator for Dayton.Vocalink, which is located on 405 W. First St., will add up to 10 new full-time positions to its existing staff of 22 by switching contract interpreter positions to permanent jobs.SOENT, which has 100 employees, signed a 12-year lease to relocate its business from 369 W. First St. to the Wright Health Building at the corner of South Patterson Boulevard and West Stewart Street . With the grant, SOENT will invest in diagnostic equipment, furniture and communication systems.

    via 2 local businesses earn development grants.

    So- you were saying? Is this a lottery? I pay my tax dollars to expand vocalink? I pay my tax dollars to help doctors make more money? I thought I paid tax dollars to pay police to protect me, for firemen to save me- and to make sure the streets get paved. Talk about gross misuse of tax dollars.
    Now- would you please respond how supporting these two businesses is fair?
    I employ people at The Next Wave- we’re growing- but, no one gave us $100K. And, if you want to bring up the 12 year tax abatement on my building- let me point out- taxes hadn’t been paid for 17 years before I bought it- at $50 a half- and the building was ready to be torn down. I paid $2200 for the building and $2400 in back taxes. Now they want $2000 a year for it.
    Please explain that too- esp. since the people down the street, the ones with 33 police calls in 2 years, don’t pay their property taxes at all?

  4. Diane July 13, 2012 / 11:26 am
    There’s a simple solution to all of your troubles, David.

    Just move. 

  5. Civil Servants Are People, Too July 13, 2012 / 7:55 pm
    First of all, I didn’t even mention the DDP so that entire post seems like another excuse to attack someone that you don’t agree with.    Basically, it proves my earlier point.   Thank you very much.
    Anyway, if Mr. Haitham truly did not get any support from those either group, then I completely agree that would be an issue of concern for your city.     But it sounds as though Ms. Gudorf disagrees with that assessment.    So perhaps there was some miscommunication between them.    All we have at this point is, at best, a he-said she-said situation, unless there is evidence to the contrary.
    As for being random, giving grants to growing businesses it hardly unusual.   I understand that you do not support this practice, but that does not make it random.    Just because you don’t like it, you should not imply that it is being done incorrectly or unprofessionally.   That is my beef here.   
    To your question,  I would say supporting a successful company is a good idea, even if you disagree with the tactics.   If a tax break in the short run translates to business growth in the long run, that seems like a good strategy.   We all know that is how the game is played.  
    Funny then, that you gripe about not getting the same benefits and then quickly point out the benefits that you received anyway.    If there is something that you need to help your business, perhaps you should ask for it and see what happens.
  6. David Esrati July 14, 2012 / 9:12 am

    @CSAPT- let’s also be clear about the “tax break” I received- it was one that was available to everyone- not one based on promises of more jobs- or help us stay in your fair city.

    I bought a building in a Historic District that was well past its prime. I had to abide by rules that probably tacked at least an extra 20% to the cost of renovations – as well as an onerous process to just get a “conditional use permit”- meaning the types of tenants I can put in the building is extremely limited. It took 9 months to get an occupancy permit- after I completed renovations- because the building codes were being interpreted for new construction instead of for a historic building.

    Do you understand- this is far from a give-away based on some randomness in granting a break to a business.

    “We all know how the game is played”- REALLY? Are you that stupid. Taxation and running a business isn’t a game- and that you say that should be proof positive that the whole process is a game- instead of a framework for fair play.

    In sports, games work to pick champions because we all abide by the exact same rules- in politics- we run auctions to the highest bidder or the one who is most connected. That isn’t my America- that’s a third world banana republic style rule.
    Time for an overthrow.

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