Checking Out

Renters around town are getting ousted from illegal hotels

The Illegal Hotels Working Group, composed of housing advocates and local officials, has compiled a list of 200 buildings around the city that are being converted into hotels, corporate apartments, and youth hostels. The vast majority are in Manhattan's tourist-friendly neighborhoods. A sampling:

Greenwich Village
160 Bleecker
Residents at 160 Bleecker, a 198-unit building advertised as "The Atrium" on the Signature Properties website and Hotels.com, say that hotel guests have caused fires and fights. The city's Environmental Control Board fined the landlord $800 in September for violating building codes. The building continues to accept hotel guests, charging $240 a night for a studio apartment.

Upper West Side
SRO s
Some of the first complaints about illegal hotels come from single-room-occupancy buildings on the Upper West Side, including the Continental at 330 West 95th Street, the Montroyal at 315 West 94th Street, and the Pennington at 316 West 95th Street. The city is suing the landlord of these three buildings, who has pushed out permanent residents to make way for nightly tourists. The case is ongoing in State Supreme Court.

Midtown
346 East 51st Street
After residents called 311 and prompted an investigation, the Environmental Control Board assessed an $800 fine to the landlord for renting out at least three units as hotel rooms. The "346 Inn" is listed as a two-star hotel on Yahoo! Travel. 134 West 58th Street Tony Warren, a retired newscaster for WCBS-FM, testified at a recent City Council hearing that his building was being taken over by partying tourists. The building is being advertised as "Bridgestreet Wilshire Plaza" and is rated a three-star accommodation on roadsideamerica.com.

Chelsea
160 West 24th Street
Maryanne Marinac is the last long-term tenant in her 19-story apartment building, which the city says was illegally converted into a Marriott Execustay hotel. The building has been fined for allowing the short-term "residents" to rent a unit for fewer than 30 days.

 
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