Set to Close Before it Opens?

The owners of Manja Gourmet had no clue their landlord had applied for a government buyout and that the building could be demolished.

The storefront at 332 S. York Road will once again be serving up pizza. For how long is dependent upon the outcome of a federal buyout that the property owner is seeking. 

The future home of – and – is one of 26 structures under consideration for a government buyout, according to Hatboro Superintendent of Public Works, Fred Zollers. 

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is a federal program that provides funding to states to help "implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration," according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Web site. 

If received, the grant would allow the borough to “acquire and demolish” the properties, said Zollers. All have sustained major flood damage during recent storms, including and .  

News of the possible buyout came as a surprise to Manja Gourmet co-owner Anastasia Sampaio, who said the eatery is set to open on April 9. 

“We just signed a five-year lease,” Sampaio told Patch.

George Kiriakidi, an owner of Horizon Property Management LLC, which owns the handful of buildings assigned to the 332 S. York Road address, told Patch that a buyout is one of several options under consideration. Another possibility that Kiriakidi said he applied for is to obtain "money to help make it water-proof."

"We threw everything against the wall," Kiriakidi said of the various options he applied for. "There's a big difference between possible and probable."

Tom Dessalet, the owner of , also located at 332 S. York Road, said the owner did not share with him the the possibility of a buyout.

Dessalet, who endured two floods in the six years he’s been open in Hatboro, said he lost four vehicles and about $50,000 in stock as a result of last year’s flood. 

“I’d like to move,” Dessalet said. “I hadn’t been looking because I just signed a three-year lease before the flood.”

Kiriakidi said there was "no reason to alarm the tenants" for something that may not happen. And, if a buyout does move to fruition, Kiriakidi said leases provide protection for the site's tenants.

"We wouldn’t be able to sell it unless we came to some kind of agreement," Kiriakidi said. "We would never do anyone dirty or sneaky. We’re all in this together."

Besides the South York Road structures, one of the other applications is for a residence on Horsham Road. , according to Zollers.

The initial incomplete application was sent to FEMA on March 9, Zollers said, to meet FEMA’s deadline. The next step, according to Zollers, is to obtain appraisals and determine a budget for the properties.

It was not clear when FEMA would make a decision about the 26 potential buyouts or when the structures, if a buyout is approved, would be demolished. 

Fulmor York April 04, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Great job main street, is anyone asking why the main street manager or the borough codes office did not say anything about this. The new people i am sure must of needed permits and such to get started. Of course they would not that would be one less business and 25 less jobs they can say was added to hatboro. What a way to lure unsuspecting people into Hatboro. If you read the patch from earlier articles see what happened to mccourts and all the permits and money it cost them. I'm not sure if the poster above is affiliated with that great restaurant that the town lost.
Waterlogged April 05, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Wow did anyone tell the owner of manja that it floods and what happened to the last tenant. I too like the above poster would like to know why the Boro allowed another business to open there after seeing all the devastation this past summer, how could this be. It is frightening to me to think that main street or the borough would be more interested in the business and help statistic rather than the safety of people. Lastly, in defense of the new restaurant it appears the patch is not supporting you Either by reading the story byline. Who is responsible for this??
Kevin McCourt April 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Thank you, Fulmor. Sam Braccia and his family cost us that restaurant. His daughter told us that since we fixed their building, her parents could expect a new establishment to pay $4,000 a month in rent, rather than the $2,000 we were paying. It's sad to see such slumlords who seemed nice. On a Roll was two YEARS behind on rent with no eviction. We were 20 days late. They also mistakenly thought all the equipment we bought was their property. I can't wait to show support for Manja. Coincidentally, our spot remains open. So far, that move on Braccia's part cost him $24,000, and it still sits empty and our lifelong dreams and nest eggs have all washed away.
Kevin McCourt April 09, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Please, don't blame the Borough. Everyone of our neighbors including the staff at Borough Hall, Enterprise Fire Company, The Second Alarmers, The Chamber of Commerce, Our Bldg. Inspectors, the Main Street Manager and Comittee, HPD, Boro Hall Staff, The Cafe' La Fontana family, Bourough Council and countless others worked very hard for us to help us open and thrive. Many helped by picking up the equipment we ordered, helping us paint and lay rugs, cleaning with us or bringing cappuccino and pizza while we remodeled the building. We fell in love and I'm now proud to call Hatboro my home.
Anastasia Sampaio April 17, 2012 at 03:42 PM
thank you Amy.


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