In desperation and in an attempt to stay relevant, Yossi and Mica Soffer of Collive.com have been creating stories and interviews which have never taken place. It seems they are trying to give their viewers the [false] impression that they are all over the Crown Heights news scene.
The now defunct supermarket on E New York Avenue once known for its bare, almost warehouse like aesthetic, relatively good prices and loans given to customers, is being turned into a high-class all encompassing megamart.
Ever since Crown Heights entrepreneur Itzik Benabo added the store to his food and real estate empire, extensive renovations were being made in the building that is surrounded by apartment buildings and small homes.
A tour given to a COLlive reporter inside the large store – which was not officially renamed yet – revealed an overall makeover costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Exterior walls were replaced with glass windows which will give passers-by a glimpse into the elegant decor, bright interior and the wide aisles which will direct customers to a fully serviced deli and bakery.
Yet, one of Benabo’s most lavish investments in the store will not be seen by the public eye. The second floor was converted to a state-of-the-art catering kitchen with all new appliances and equipment, including walk-in commercial fridges and freezers.
A source told COLlive Benabo is conducting interviews for the position of chef.
This won’t be the first makeover Benabo is giving to a local business. His Kol Tuv grocery on Kingston Avenue and Montgomery Street was one of the first to open late hours, Empire Kosher on Empire Boulevard offered parking and cleanliness (albeit somewhat pricey) and a better menu at Kingston Pizza.
But, some expressed worry over his strong hold in business in the neighborhood and closing two stores in prime locations on Kingston Avenue. Kingston Plaza Market was never opened and is used for storage, while the Albany Bakery branch on Kingston Avenue was shut this past month.
The above “interview” and “tour” of the new store with Benabo never took place.
Yossi Soffer was seen taking photos outside the store. Had an interview and tour actualytaken place, we the viewers would have surly seen some photos of Soffer and Benabo touring and chatting. We did not see such photos because no such interview took place.
Undaunted by a recent burglary, and moving into the age of Hi Tech, the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council’s social service center, now called Crown Heights Central, continues to improve its appearance and level of service.
With free legal counseling in a wide range of areas, such as Consumer Debt, Immigration, and Family Law, and with a new exterior look, Executive Director Rabbi Eli Cohen hopes that community members will feel even more welcome than before to make use of its services.
“The name ‘Crown Heights Central’ sends out the message that this is the place to come to for assistance with a whole range of services,” Cohen said.
“We hope that the change will not be just cosmetic, but that people who drop in to Crown Heights Central will feel more confident about getting the assistance they need.”
Now, not only have the stolen computers been replaced, but a new computerized display has been installed in the window to give details of all the services offered inside.
This change is only the latest in a series of improvements begun in the summer. The waiting area of the social services center has been completely cleaned up, with new seating and lighting replacing the old dusty furniture and bulletin boards. A brand new awning declaring Crown Heights Central, the new face for the social services arm of the CHJCC, has gone up as well.
The online presence also has been upgraded: The new website www.crownheightscentral.org, gives overviews of the services being offered and also includes a listings of community resources and useful information.
Crown Heights Central plans on utilizing social media to share relevant information and to start a conversation with the community via Facebook.
“We’re just starting on this journey and want to hear from the community on how we’re doing,” Cohen said. “If there’s something we can do to improve our services, please let us know.”
The Crown Heights Central is also working on beefing up their current list of services – the newest program, Legal Services, provides free legal advice and representation in the areas of immigration, custody or child support, credit card debt, foreclosures, evictions and fair hearings on denial or reduction of benefits.
Currently, a volunteer program is in the works, hoping to connect local organizations with volunteers looking to give back to their community.
The work on the storefront and website was completed by entirely Crown Heights businesses, including Adar Construction, for the storefront renovations, the new awning done by Sign It INC, and website done by Star City Media.
Here too, an interview never took place. Collive simply took the content for the above story from the CHJCC blog.
Memo to Collive: If you are in search for Crown Heights news, a good start would be an investigation in the corruption and fraud taking place at the CHJCC. This could be a real opportunity to demonstrate some real journalism for a change.