Trouble at 8th and H “The people loitering outside made it clear that this was their neighborhood and we weren’t welcome”

8th and H St, NE via google maps

“Dear PoPville,

In August 2013 when I opened up my store on H street with the hopes and dreams that every entrepreneur has. I wanted to be successful, I wanted to give my customers a quality product at a great price and I wanted to be a part of the H Street community. I had scouted the location out for months. I loved the busy street and I thought that the bus stops were great because it dropped customers off directly in front of the store. Unfortunately immediately after I opened up I realized that there was a problem. My problem was the 10-20 regular loiterers that hung out directly in front and to the side of my store.

There was a lot of drug dealing and drug use. On a daily basis drunk or high people would come into the store and yell at me and my employees. They would threaten us. They would get in our faces. These men would sit on the two steps leading up to the front doors and they literally wouldn’t get out of my way or my customers way. They would stand in the handicapped ramp leading up to the store or sit on the handicap railing. They would also sit on the window sills running down the 8th street side of the building. I sent letters to Lt. Godin and commander Hickson at MPD. Lt. Godin really tried to help me. He visited often and did the best he could. In the end the police department is seriously outnumbered. There was only so much they could do. I begged my landlord to please help me but they did nothing. The people loitering outside made it clear that this was their neighborhood and we weren’t welcome.

They proved it in words and in action. I can tell you countless stories from my seven month pregnant employee being assaulted in the store to my own pregnant wife being intimidated. One employee quit after two days another quit after 7 days. I opened the store so I could make more money to support my growing family. Just before Christmas 2014 I asked the landlord to terminate my lease. They said that they wanted to work with me but because of the coming holidays they were short staffed and we could reconvene after the holidays. On January 13, 2014 my wife went into early labor by six weeks. It was a life changing moment. We had our first child, a boy and we named him Benjamin. We call him Benji. With the business costing me about $12,500 out of pocket to run a month it soon became apparent that we couldn’t afford daycare and I watched Benji as a stay at home dad and brought him to work with me. The daily barrage of intimidation and not knowing what would happen next really took a toll on all of us but especially my employees.

Morale was very low. In November 2014 I finally called it quits. My wife, my father and I personally guaranteed the lease. My wife a fourth grade Fairfax County teacher. My father has worked in conflict zones for pretty much my whole life, I’m 40. My father has been in Afghanistan for the past six years. He turned 65 this past March. He comes home to retire in a couple of months. Right now the landlord is suing us personally for about $100,000. They claim that there are no drug dealers or people under the influence on the corner of H street and 8th street. They claim that men do not sit on my front steps and on the railings and stand along the handicapped ramp or sit along the windows running down 8th street. Also they claim that people do not congregate in front of Rite Aid.

I need help. I’m not asking anyone to make up stories or not tell the truth but I know that there are people who have seen with their own eyes what I’m claiming. If not the abuse that took place inside the store they can probably corroborate my claim that men sit on my front steps. Men sit on the front railings. Men stand in the handicapped ramp. Men sit along the window sills. Men congregate on that corner and they are involved in drug use. Many people in the past told me that they are intimidated by the people that hang out on that corner. I just need some people to corroborate my side of the story.

This amount of money that the landlord wants to sue me for will literally ruin me financially for the rest of my life. They will come after my wife. They will come after my dad and his house that he’s worked his whole entire life to create. I need help. I have until April 14 to send opposing counsel letters/emails from people that can corroborate my story. If anyone wants to help me please send me a direct email. Tell me if you’ve seen people sitting on my steps. If you’ve seen people sitting on the handicapped railings.

If you’ve seen people standing on the handicapped ramp leading up to the store. If you’ve seen people sitting on the window sills running down the 8th street side. If you’ve seen any kind of illegal activity on that corner. I want to know your experiences regarding my corner and regarding that whole shopping center. A simple email would help me tremendously. Thank you for reading.

Best Regards,
Jacob Ayubi
[email protected]”

104 Comment

  • Even Google Street view shows people loitering on your business. That’s got to be worth something. Also you can fall back on the police reports. I’m sure there’s plenty of data to support your claim of illegal activity going on there.

  • I live near this area and when I do venture down H St on my own especially at night I go out of my way to avoid the blocks between 7th and 11th as there are usually many loiterers and some have on occasion directed unwelcome comments at me. I believe just a few months ago there was a shooting around there where some of these loiterers were involved

  • For future reference: Play classical music loudly outside your business. It’s a proven deterrent for nuisance loiterers.

  • Why does this bother you? We’re told time and time again that these are just people who are so traumatized by the presence of “others” in “their” neighborhoods that they have no choice but to act like this. They’re just expressing themselves creatively after all.

    Seriously though, if somebody can help this guy, please do it. I wouldn’t wish this kind of garbage on anyone.

  • I’m confused. What does terminating the lease have to do with people loitering in front of the business? Was the lease terminated early? If in fact you legally owe them money then I’m not sure what the loiterers have to do with it. Even though they may have partially contributed to bad business, I don’t think that should make a difference…maybe I’m missing something..

    • HaileUnlikely

      Let the lawyers hash out what has to do with what. If you have direct knowledge that can help the guy, be a neighbor and help. If you don’t, then the answer doesn’t matter anyway.

      • Ive spent most of my life in and around DC and I know that 8th and H st has long been a troubled corner though it was WAY worse before. So I guess the only way I can “help” is by confirming that 8th and H still has people hanging out that are up to no good but I was just wondering what that has to do with terminating his lease early. I had no idea you could actually use loitering as a defense for not being able to pay rent that is due. Learned something new today.

      • You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that DC does not have anti-loitering laws, so using loiterers as an argument is not going to get you anywhere even if it is corroborated.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I have never been a party to a lease for commercial real estate, and as such, I honestly do not no what the landlord’s obligations to the tenant businesses are. I really don’t care, either. I’m just taking the request at face value. The worst that could come of trying to help the guy is that his defense will still be unsuccessful. He’s already facing a lawsuit that will likely ruin his family financially. I don’t think he is in further need of lectures from anonymous posters here.

    • I agree. I don’t see how he was not aware of this issue beforehand. I think he got in there prematurely on the hopes that things would change a lot faster and that he’d be in a perfect location for his business. I don’t avoid the blocks in question because I don’t find it troublesome for me directly, but I do agree that Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to many people just loiter around that entire area. I understand there is NO loitering law in DC, but these people are clearly drunk/intoxicated in public.

      • That was my thought too. I don’t think the loitering has gotten any worse since the furniture store opened up. How could he have not anticipated this would be a problem?

    • After rigorous research and analysis, it looks like the Popville legal team has spoken.

    • I will assume he is using “constructive eviction” as a defense to paying rent.

  • nightborn

    Mr Ayubi, I hope someone is able to help you. I’m so sorry this is happening.

    • The other day I was in Pound when a drunk/high guy came in and started harassing the employees. It was frightening and I wasn’t even the person he was engaging with. That kind of nonsense can certainly make it harder to operate a business here. But I’m having a hard time seeing how the landlord is at fault here.

    • Ally

      Yeah, I second the sentiment above. To the original poster, it’s horrible that you, your family, and your employees have had to deal with that. I haven’t spent enough time on that part of H Street to assist with your inquiry, but I hope everything works out as good as can be expected.

  • northeazy

    I think the commenters are slightly overreacting here. That corner isn’t all bad. For starters, it is a great place to go shopping for all of your incense and body oil needs. Also, while I too detest going into the Rite AId, luckily many street entrepreneurs will rob the Rite Aid for you and sell deodorants, socks, hats, gloves, shampoo, and other necessities at deep discounts. It is also a great place to take a piss, pick up a hooker, and score some drugs. If you’re lucky, you can do all three transactions with the same vagrant. Finally, the X2 stop at H and 8th is actually free! It is the only bus stop like it on this side of the Anacostia. All you need to do is swipe an empty SmarTrip card, and when the bus makes a weird buzzing sound, that means you can ride for free. I see folks take advantage of this great perk everyday. So, all in all, the corner offers a lot of local, trash-to-table retail we all claim we want. I bet y’all look at the corner differently now that I pointed out the positives.

    • jim_ed

      Pffft, you didn’t even mention all the bootleg porno you can buy on that corner. Way to bury the lede!

  • Isn’t this just the same story different neighborhood?? In my case I can’t use the back yard of my house on most nights. I have a corner townhouse and the area in the back near the alley and the street are full of low lifes dealing drugs, cussing, being load and inconsiderate. I’ve tried dealing with it from every angle that includes kindness to police intervention but the most bend I will get is a few weeks of a break, then it will start up again and the police will need to get involved. Sadly, neighbors near the Park View Rec Center have the same problem.

    Personally, if this city would stop re-electing the likes of Phil Mendleson and Mary Chey then maybe we could get some laws to help citizens with this problem on the books.

    • Yes – mary cheh has a lot to do with the cause of low level loitering issues outside of her ward. Especially moreso than your actual council member. that’s some solid logic right there.

      • west_egg

        It may surprise you to learn that Councilmembers are often asked to vote on legislation that reaches beyond their own ward.

      • I think he’s saying Cheh And Mendelson are loitering in his backyard. That would irritate me,too. It’s the reason I hung a No Legislating sign in my back yard.

      • There is an great article that was in the Washingtonian about how Phil Mendleson holds up and meddles with anti-loitering legislation and keeps it permanently held up “in committee” with Chey’s help.

        I have also been to many meetings where his obstruction to loitering laws that have been successful in other cities has been pointed out and he dodges it with the “I have a bill that is hung up in committee”.

  • This is a sad story, but it’s not the landlord’s fault. The problems cited didn’t begin after the store opened. You either didn’t do your homework on this “transitional” area, or you hoped for a quicker transition than has occurred. Any investment in a neighborhood like this is a gamble. This one didn’t work out well.

  • If the poor guy thinks that opposing counsel will accept a few emails, then he probably needs an attorney more than any sort of moral support.

    • this exactly. no security footage? no police reports? all this public outcry is going to prove is that he had to have his head in the sand not to know what has been going on there for years. no lawyer in his right mind would let a client post this to the web.

      • Um, how do you know he’s not already included that information? If I was in his shoes, I’d want as much information as possible, including personal statements of potential customers.
        Security footage is usually recorded over within a few days. Doubtful that he realized he would need it. The police probably have records that his lawyer can access. He could also ask any Lt. Godin and Commander Hickson to provide a deposition.

  • Um. Maybe because these “loiterers” are also people who are tired of being pushed to the fringes and having their neighborhoods encroached upon by yoga studios, artisan markets and organic hipster marts.

    How would you feel if your home was being taken over by people who saw and describe you as a “nuisance”? They deserve to be there just as much as you do.

    • justinbc

      Acceptable protesting methods do not include public urination and open air drug sale / use.

    • I don’t think the yoga studios and such are selling drugs and/or harassing people

    • Yeah because I’m sure before they were “pushed to the fringes” they were perfectly upstanding members of society who didn’t urinate on sidewalks and sell stolen goods on corners. They just went to their 9-5 and put in a hard days work at the office.

    • First of all, these individuals are the very definition of the word “loiterer” so I’m not sure what point you are trying to make by putting it in quotations. Secondly, I agree that many of these folks have suffered from the changes in this area, but that DOES NOT give them the right to a. harass ANYONE, including (but certainly not limited to) threatening pregnant women b. urinate in public c. deal or use on this corner (steps and ramp of this business included.)

      So no, they do not “deserve to be here” as much as someone who is NOT doing those things.

    • I Dont Get It

      Did you even read anything beyond the headline? Do you think it was acceptable for an employee to be assaulted?

    • Yes because drunkenly harassing people on the sidewalk is a perfectly legitimate way to live your life.

      This neighborhood was likely a much more welcoming place 20 or even 10 years ago when DC was known as the murder capital of the country. A literal Eden most likely.

      • Ally

        Yeah, there are days when I feel guilty about vacant properties (foreclosures) on my street and the people who got forced out. Then I remember how my neighborhood was 10 years ago when I moved there. I remember the gunfire outside my windows (I live near Stadium Armory). I feel for the people forced out, but I can’t help but feel happy about the drop in crime that’s the end result.

    • Naima, there’s a way to protest unwelcomed development and neighborhood changes, but it isn’t through intimidation, drug use, and harassment. They aren’t “described as nuisance,” they are being a nuisance. Easy to pick on a small business owner when it’s the big developers who are taking over and changing the neighborhood.

    • I refuse to believe that a person with full mental faculty cannot contribute to society. This is the land of opportunity. We live in a capitalist economy where people have the freedom to buy the products they want and live where they want. I fear the day that my neighborhood becomes dry bread, void of culture and history because of the almighty dollar. I value preservation, but not at the cost of progress.

      To paraphrase a someone else’s post, having a sought after home is not such a bad thing. I pray for the day that I get pushed to the fringes with a big fat check for my home. When I couldn’t afford the rising rent in my old neighborhood, I didn’t complain. It wasn’t my neighborhood because I didn’t own it. I deserved nothing.

  • Something about this doesn’t quite make sense. Why not request copies of the complaints reported to the police and look up nearby crime reports? Or take photos/videos of the people that are causing him trouble? I think we’re missing part of the story.

  • justinbc

    This corner / intersection is on par with 14th NW & Columbia as the worst smelling in DC due to the constant public urination. I’m really sorry to hear the effects it’s having on local businesses. The landlord’s disputes are just silly, anyone can just stand there for a day and film any manner of transactions and wrong doings to disprove them. I walk up and down H Street several times a week, and this is pretty much the only block left where no virtually no business could convince me to stop in to shop, due to the surrounding vagrants. It’s just not worth it. However, I will say, it’s been that way for quite a long time now, so a bit of due diligence could have saved you greatly.

    • And how exactly is it the landlord’s responsibility to keep third parties from congregating in public spaces?

      • I strongly suspect that the steps, the handicapped ramps and the windows sills are not considered public space.

        These people are tresspassing. However, I’m not sure this will result in any relief as to the lease.

        • Do you live in DC? My steps, the tree box, the half walls in front and behind my house, and a good chunk of my driveway are city property. If it came down to it, I almost guarantee the city would argue that point if they wanted to take that space over. But when it comes to something I’ll need help with, they’ll be no where to be found.

          • I do like in DC (probably kind of near you base on your screen name) and MY steps, yard and wall are DEFINITELY part of my property.

            I realize that there are parts of the city where this is not the case, but I seriously doubt that this means you have no recourse if someone decides to do anything illegal in your driveway.

            Furthermore, I would be shocked if the handicap ramp was city property.

          • to Doc –

            Do you know that 100%? have you looked at your plat?

            I live in Mt Pleasant, and my front yard is city property, to which I have an easement. (same as all my neighbors on the block)

      • justinbc

        I never once made the claim that it was, so not sure why you’re asking me that?

    • I frequently catch the bus here, and I can’t say I’ve ever noticed anything shady going on, even at night. But a lot of the guys are scruffy looking and are doing things like shouting across the street to each other, which can make people uneasy.

      • Catch the bus there every day. Ton of shady dealings. I don’t mind it all that much, but I have even had the people standing behind me talking about how I’m in their hood. Certainly not the most comfortable of situations.

  • I’m sure the cops will say that as long as the bus stops are there people have a license to loiter as much/long as they want and there is nothing that can be done about it.

    The owner may have been a little naive to think that anything would change when his business opened there. This problem is much bigger than him or his business, he is just the latest victim.

  • I personally know Jacob and he’s a very upstanding guy. The financial pressures of this have put a ton of stress on him and his family.
    The issue at stake is that the landlord is supposed to guarantee the safety and security of the shopping center per the terms of the lease. Yes, Jacob attempted to break the lease early. But that’s simply because he can’t get customers to come in his store without being harassed or physically threatened by the local loiterers, due to the fact that an absentee landlord is not providing proper security for the shopping center. Hence, this has come to the lawyers.
    If you are familiar with the issues on this corner – and even better, if you’ve been harassed here during the specified time frame, please contact Jacob. His family are DC local entrepreneurs who have poured countless hours, dollars, and sweat equity into the District since the 1980s (when no one wanted to invest here).

    • Honestly, I’ve thought about checking out this store while waiting for the bus at 8th & H, but it just looked so uninviting. Not because of the loiterers, but the façade and what you could see through the windows. Something about the building, lighting, signage, etc. just made it unappealing.

    • justinbc

      Yeah, I had a feeling the legal grounds were based on assertions that the landlord had made about the property (condition / security / etc) that were obviously false once anyone spent any length of time there.

  • This really sucks for this guy (and is a common problem in city life), but I don’t see why the landlord should bear the loss, absent some kind of lease provision to the contrary. He should have done his homework and known what kind of location he was getting into before he put his (and his family’s) financial future on the line.

    • If it makes a difference, I believe the landlord has already sold the property and has told all existing businesses to vacated by the end of this year. There’s going to be a whole new development on this corner.
      So yeah, the landlord is being super greedy.

      • Selling the property isn’t being greedy, it must make economic sense for the landlord to sell rather than keep trying to rent out the place. But the landlord should be allowed to dispose of his assets as he sees fit, and the fact that Mr. Ayubi owes him money from their past agreement isn’t affected by whether or not he decides selling is the better option going forward.

        • I don’t know the exact details of Jacob’s lease. But I suspect that once the deal for the shopping center was inked, the landlord stopped spending any money on maintenance, security, etc. This whole place is slated to be razed and the landlord is coming out with a MASSIVE profit. Why take a family’s house? That’s just spiteful.
          Anyways, this is for the lawyers to hash out. It sounds like Jacob is trying to establish a fact pattern.

    • If the Landlord is responsible for security then he could be deemed in breach of the lease since the Tenant is not able to be secure in the leased property.

      • Under basic contract law, the party who breaches a contract is responsible for the damages which flowed from that breach. The tenant is admitting he broke his lease. His defense is essentially that the landlord breached the lease first by not living up to the obligation to provide a “safe and secure” premises. The question is whether any of the things the tenant claims caused his business to fail were the result of the landlord’s failure to provide safe and secure premises.
        There are two kinds of issues the tenant points out – loitering outside his store and interlopers inside the store. If loitering is legal in DC (and whether you like it or not, loitering is legal in DC), it’s hard to see how a lease would impose an obligation on a private landowner to keep people from congregating in a public space when even the police don’t have the power to do that. The answer might be different if there is some portion of this property that is private. When I contacted the police about a nightly dice and alcohol party on the porch of an empty house on my block, they said they could not do anything unless the owner of the property swore out a no trespass order making it clear that anyone on the property at a particular time was trespassing. Luckily for our block, the owner was responsive and gave the police the authority to evict the people who were gathering on the porch without his permission. So maybe if the loitering in this case took place on private property – the front steps, railing? – the landlord had an obligation to do something.
        It’s hard to imagine that the landlord had an obligation to provide security for inside the store, but maybe he did.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Or perhaps the landlord did not have any obligation or authority to stop the loitering but did have the obligation and the authority to stop concrete illegal actions such as drug dealing, public urination, harassment of patrons and employees, etc., on his property that he was leasing to his tenant.

        • What the police said to you is incorrect. It is illegal to consume alcohol in public. They could’ve made the men move for that reason alone. I k iw because I’ve seen them do it on my street several times for exactly that. If individuals are ahooting dice out front and consuming alcohol in public they can be asked to vacate the property.

    • HaileUnlikely

      It sounds like you are already fairly confident that the tenant does not have a case and will lose. Do you think he will better take the point from lectures by anonymous message board posters than by facing financial ruin? Or does kicking people when they’re down just make you feel better?

      • I certainly don’t intend to be kicking anyone when they’re done, but none of the information in his letter leads me to believe that he has a case. It’s perfectly possible there’s something he didn’t include, such as a possible lease provision placing responsibility for this on the landlord. But I also don’t want this poor guy to spend even more money he apparently doesn’t have on legal fees if he doesn’t have a viable case.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I was referring to the “he should have done his homework” stuff. Sure he should have, but I’d wager a small fortune that he’s come to that realization on his own by now.

          • Maybe, but I still don’t understand how that makes it “right” for the landlord to suffer the consequences of the tenant’s poor planning. Not trying to kick dirt in anyone’s face, just expressing an opinion.

          • HaileUnlikely

            If the tenant is legally in the wrong he will almost certainly lose his case and learn his lesson and the landlord will get his money and not have to suffer any consequences from the tenant’s poor planning. If the tenant legally in the right, then maybe the landlord should have to suffer the consequences after all. Especially given the level of sophistication demonstrated in the tenant’s letter, I think it is haile (ahem, highly) unlikely that both the landlord is right and that the landlord will suffer the consequences of the tenant’s poor planning.

          • HaileUnlikely

            p.s. The post by Anonymous at 3:18 above more or less reflects my thinking. The landlord can afford to write this off and won’t even notice a difference of +/- $100K in his account. It will be ruinous for the tenant. Sure the landlord is entitled to collect his debts, and sure the tenant should have done his homework, but sometimes, when everybody insists upon exercising all of their rights and refuses to forgive anyone else’s mistakes, nobody ends up winning. In my book this is one of those times.

      • C’mon. If you post on this board, you should be aware that “I don’t want to blame the victim, but I’m going to go ahead and blame the victim” is pretty a standard response here. It goes with the territory.
        And with respect to your comment below, unless you know the landlord in question, you don’t know whether he or she or it could easily shake off a $100,000 loss. It’s not fair to assume that as between the parties, the landlord is definitely in a better position to take that kind of financial hit than the tenant.

        • HaileUnlikely

          My assumption that the landlord can afford to write it off is based on statements by others that the landlord is about to sell and make a sh!t-ton of money on it. I am assuming that those posts are factually correct or at least not outright fabrications. Provided that those contain any truth at all, the landlord has waaay less to gain than the tenant has to lose here, and I stand by my assertion that even if the landlord has the right to do this, it is a sh!tty thing to do.

  • Sorry to hear about your issues but I have to agree with most commentators here. You said you wanted to make profits and earn good money so you chose H st which is not as quaint as P street in Georgetown. Higher returns mean added risks. It’s a gamble and it seems it is not going well for you.
    Your landlord is due money and I’m afraid you can’t prevent loitering

  • I think a case can be made for negligence on the part of the landlord. But even so, I don’t think it has to be the landlord’s “fault” for the renter to not be financially ruined. The landlord will re-rent the space, and his insurance will pick up whatever loss he realizes in the meantime.
    Renter, do you have the original marketing materials for the space? Did the landlord misrepresent it?

  • I Dont Get It

    I’m not familiar with that corner or the law but I wish you good luck Mr. Ayubi.

  • I don’t know what the landlord’s responsibilities are here, either. But it shocks me (though it shouldn’t, given the comments I’ve read on this site) that people who also have no idea feel free to jump in and tell the store owner he has no case. I don’t know that, and neither do you. If the landlord is responsibility for security, which makes sense, then it makes sense that he likely does.

    This think of always reflexively siding with landlords, of any type, gets old. In a commercial situation, its a whole different ballgame than in a residential one – different relationship, different laws apply.

  • I’m curious– what kind of security would a landlord provide that could help this situation? It seems unlikely that they would agree to hire a security guard just for one business. Does the lease specifically spell out what the landlord’s supposed to do?

  • I feel for the guy, but I’d recommend he contact his employees for their corroborating stories, not the general public. If a letter from a witness was going to make or break this case, said witness would probably have to be more involved than a quick, simple email.

  • What store is in question? I walk past here a somewhat often (I live a few blocks away), but I’m not sure what store Mr. Ayubi owns?

    • He owned the “H and 8th Furniture” store right next to the bus stop. It’s the corner building you see in the photo above. Though, I’m not sure if the sign has already been taken down.

  • Two interesting posts on the same day. One blames gentrification for closing. The other perhaps could have benefitted if gentrification were faster.

  • Sending you my letter by Friday. Best of luck to you & your family.

  • He’s not lying…I’m frequent to the area and born and raised in DC…..although the area has seen a lot of change one thing that hasn’t is all the drunks and drug dealers…I am a 31 year old black man and it hurts to see my people behaving in thag manner on a daily basis.

  • Now.on the flip side being as tho he so called scouted the area for months he should have known exactly what he was getting into before agreeing to lease a property at that location…when it’s all said and do e I think both sides should split the blame and go there separate ways….location is everything when opening a business

  • This corner is a disgrace. From what I can see the landlord has enjoyed the profits of running a dump of a strip mall for a fair while…. The good news is that ANC meeting documents suggest that they will break ground with the new development in January 2016….

  • It’s in the D.C.. government’s best interest to have business-friendly policies on the books. And I’m surprised there’s nothing out there that protects small business owners in rapidly developing neighborhoods where there’s a lot of money to be made. I mean, they give huge breaks to big developers. I’d research perhaps if you could get support from council members to at least try to change the loitering laws. I hope he called the police every time a customer was harassed, because then there’d be increased police presence all the time and clear evidence of what was going. Yes, he legally owes the landlord. But I also think the landlord will have a hell of a time renting this space out if Ayubi’s story gets out in the press. It’s in the best interest of the landlord as well to settle and work something out.
    Best of luck, Ayubi. Sounds like a really bad situation and I hope it all works out.

  • He stated that he scouted this place out for months.
    So he knew people were hanging out in front of this building.

  • Sounds like his gamble didn’t pay off. He may want to consider bankruptcy.

  • It has been going on for years so they know about this same issue I don’t know why the landlord be acting as if this is new to him but you should have never ended your contract early now that is a different seniorio that bus stop has people on it all day but if folks wanted something in your store the loitering wouldn’t stop them I stop up in there for years at Dana’s jewelry store and the loitering didn’t stop me pay them folks their money if you gonna make $$$ put better furniture in there

  • Terrible situation. I am aware of all the loiterers on that corner, I walk through pretty regularly, but definitely have never lingered. I’ve never seen anything bad go down, but maybe people don’t hassle me when I walk through with my kids. I had no idea about what was going on with that furniture store, to me it looked like a place that had been there a long time and wasn’t in very good shape. I’m sorry to hear about this story, and hope for a good outcome for you, Mr. Ayubi.

  • I bought furniture from this store shortly after they opened. I live three blocks away and was so psyched we were getting some retail in the area besides drug and grocery stores. They were helpful and honest and very nice. I met his wife and saw how excited they were to open this store and were going to be a part of the neighborhood. In the early days, they tried to make the front more inviting but the corner location was an issue from day one with the loiterers. The family is of middle eastern descent and have endued horrible and nasty racist/xenophobic ranting’s from the douchebags hanging out on that corner. I personally heard them while shopping there. I’ve lived here for several years and have gotten somewhat immune to the term cracker having been called it more times than I can count. I have no doubt this family has been put through the wringer and wish them well. There is no excuse for anyone, regardless of racial inequalities and their perceived personal injustices, to behave like many of the regulars who loiter there behave. Those of us that live here and deal every day with the degenerates who litter and piss and smack their lips as you walk by and make disgusting comments have no patience for these aholes.

  • I have some sympathy for the business owner. BUT this corner has been a problem for years. When I was condo shopping in this area in 2002, my then boss drove me to this corner to show me what goes on there. I was concerned but bought nearby anyway. So the situation on the corner has not improved in 13 years. This should not have been a surprise to the business owner. I hope his landlord shows some compassion for an intractable problem.

  • You can’t say you did any due diligence because anyone who did would know that is nothing but a hangout for vagrants, or people waiting for the bus.

    Basically people hanging around all day and night.


  • I grew up in that area and my mom still currently live on 18th and Benning Rd. And since I can remember 8th and h St has always had a lot of drunk high and homeless people that hang out there. That shopper ing enter and the Bank of America is a prime area because that corner is where they sell drugs and that’s a area where you can usually find a booster selling product. its a very uncomfortable experience if your shopping and especially if your not a local. I hope this helps but that area is a hot mess and I don’t blame you for leaving especially if theres not assistance to make it better

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