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Arepa Lady Has 6 Months Left in Shop After Demolition Permits Approved

By Katie Honan | August 16, 2017 4:48pm
 An arepa from the Arepa Lady restaurant. 
An arepa from the Arepa Lady restaurant. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS — The owners of Arepa Lady's brick and mortar shop say they have six months left on 77th Street after demolition permits were approved by the city.

"The permits to tear down our building were approved," they wrote in the tweet sent Tuesday evening. "Arepa lady has 6 months left."

They later tweeted they didn't think they could fight the demolition, and would instead focus on finding a new home in Jackson Heights.

"We are in kind of a limbo," Alejandro Osorio, the son of Maria Cano, the Arepa Lady, told DNAinfo New York. "We are looking for a space in the area but the rents are crazy."

He added they'd love to find a bigger location to fit a bar and larger kitchen, preferably on 37th Avenue.

The building was sold in 2014 for $3.6 million, and in December the owners filed plans for a mixed-use building, according to city records.

The new building will have ground-floor commercial stores and 44 apartments on the top five floors, records show. 

Cano began selling her Colombian specialties out of a cart on Roosevelt Avenue more than 30 years ago. 

She and her family moved to the restaurant in 2014, and Osorio renovated the former shipping store for a permanent place off Roosevelt.

The building is also home to a restaurant called La Chipotle, a soccer uniform store, and Mohan's Tattoo Shop, which was opened last year by a famous Nepali tattoo artist.

Vishal Arora of the 42-25 Realty group, a subsidiary of Magnus Capital Partners that owns the building, declined to comment unless he was allowed to read a draft of this article before publication.