2012-03-02 / Top Stories

Residents Happy over Gentlemen’s Club Removal

By Debbie Fleury

The offending billboard on the Rockaway Turnpike gentlemen’s club. The offending billboard on the Rockaway Turnpike gentlemen’s club. A racy billboard that had drawn the ire of many members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Far Rockaway will soon be removed in the wake of the sale of the building on which it stood to one of those Far Rockaway residents.

On February 23, Alexander Novak, an attorney for Jacobs Real Estate Advisors of Lawrence, confirmed the eviction of North Lawrence’s Mile High gentlemen’s club on Rockaway Turnpike in North Woodmere, a road that is a vital link between the eastern end of rockaway and the mainland.

Experts say that an estimated 75,000 cars had to pass the club’s billboards and other advertisements along the Rockaway Turnpike each month.

Concerns by religious and family groups about the club’s risqué advertising were voiced at public meetings with local politicians to discuss lawful methods to help shut the club down. But for five years, the community struggled with the legal formalities needed to get rid of the establishment.

However, sometime earlier last year, there was a change to their approach.

Sholom Jacobs, president of Jacobs REA in Lawrence, saw an opportunity to get rid of the billboard when he learned that the mortgage for the building where the gentlemen’s club is located was for sale.

“I found a group of like-minded investors and we bought that mortgage,” Jacobs explained. “Our first priority was to evict the club and get those signs down.”

Along with his lawyer, Novak, Jacobs expects to enhance the attractiveness of the neighborhood by finding new tenants for the building.

For years, a large billboard advertisement depicting a scantily clad woman hovered over Rockaway Boulevard in front of the Platinum Club, a Queens strip club that faces the street on the western side of the busy roadway. Foot and vehicle traffic passed underneath it every day, exposing everyone who passed, including young children, to its lewd imagery.

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