The Department of Buildings ordered Dec. 3 that the Broadway Hotel, at 230 W. 101st St., be partially vacated. It was the second such order on the Upper West Side in recent days, after a similar vacate order was placed in November on 262 W. 73rd St., which is part of the KORE line of hotels run by Jacob Avid.
The recent order allows tenants to remain in the Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) building, but it clears out tourists who booked rooms in the hotel.
The second through seventh floors, a total of 120 rooms, were evacuated.
The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, which deals with illegal hotels, busted the hotel and hostel for being
overloaded, with rooms containing up to eight beds, according to Buildings Department records. The building’s occupancy is roughly 140, but was equipped for 600 people. The hotel’s website boasts more than 400 beds for tourists.
The order notes that the overcrowding and inadequate exits pose “imminent danger” to the inhabitants’ safety.
“The hotel exceeded its occupancy and was dangerously overcrowded,” said Jason Post, a spokesperson in the mayor’s office.
At the Broadway Hotel, bunk beds were being crammed into rooms intended for two people, according to Eric Abrams, a tenant and activist who has tussled with owner and hotelier Hank Freid in the past.
“That building can’t be evacuated properly with a capacity of three or four times [more than] it was intended for,” Abrams said.
Freid, who owns two other hotels on the Upper West Side, has long been targeted by tenants’ rights advocates. He rents out units at the Broadway Hotel to tourists as well as tenants. Pro-tenant groups argue that these rooms are intended as affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.
“It’s clearly illegal,” said Yarrow Willman-Cole of Goddard Riverside SRO Law Project. “They’re using a residential building in a residential neighborhood for commercial, transient use.”
Willman-Cole said that the partial vacate order shows that building owners should “do your business the right way and you won’t have to deal with this stuff.”
The hotel is not taking reservations, said an employee of the hotel who would not give his name.
“We’re doing what we can to assist the situation and rectify the situation,” he said. He abruptly hung up without giving specific details.
The Broadway Hotel’s spokesperson, Gary Lewi, said that the management is “engaged in candid and productive discussions” with the city.
“We believe that level of open dialogue will allow us to address their concerns,” Lewi said, “while at the same time ensure that they appreciate our position that we are a responsible landlord abiding by the regulations that govern our property.”
Trackback from your site.