East Side shoe shop fights off eviction attempt by Duane Reade

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Lauren Glassberg reports from Midtown. (WABC)

A Manhattan shoe repair shop is celebrating, after successfully fighting off attempts to evict them by the Duane Reade pharmacy chain.

Jim's Shoe Repair, a small family owned cobbling business at the same East Side location for the past 81 years, held a celebration Tuesday afternoon at its shop on East 59th Street.

The store said that it has signed a new lease agreement and will remain in business at its current location, after being only weeks away from losing its space and having to vacate the premises.

"Words cannot describe what it means for a small business like ours to defy the odds - and be able to stay in the location we've called home for over 70 years," said Joseph Rocco, Jr. "We are grateful to our attorneys, Duane Reade, Borough President Gale Brewer, SL Green, and the thousands of people who voiced their support of our business. All worked together to make this miracle possible."

The Bickel & Brewer Storefront, the community-service affiliate of Bickel & Brewer law firm, represented Jim's in the courtroom, pro bono, and engineered a grassroots petition drive to help save the business, according to a spokesman for the shop.

The Storefront sought a landmark designation for Jim's, and filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court on behalf of the business against the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Storefront also defended Jim's in eviction proceedings. Jim's and its landlord, SL Green Realty Corp., have settled all claims as a condition of the new lease agreement.

Their new lease runs through 2023 and they plan to do things exactly the same, serving this community as they have all these years.

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