New York reported this week that the old Hotel Breslin on Broadway would soon become an East Coast version of "Seattle’s hipster hostelry," Ace Hotel:
It will be redesigned by the architects that de-Starcked the Royalton, Roman and Williams, and turned into something that should make one of the last somewhat-desolate parts of Manhattan groovy. Ace is bringing in Rudy’s Barber Shop (like the one in the downtown L.A. Standard) and an outlet of the Portland coffee shop Stumptown. It’s close to a deal with Ken Friedman, the co-proprietor of the Spotted Pig.
Rent-stabilized tenants started noticing "investor-types" in suits checking out empty rooms last spring. Then, "the front desk declared that the Breslin had no apartments or rooms available, despite the increasing number of empty rooms at the hotel."
The 103-year old Breslin, which for more than 50 years has hosted a mix of rent-stabilized SRO tenants in its 344 units, is now suddenly awash in controversy. As the building’s owners have invited investors and applied to convert the hotel for transient use, many of its rent-stabilized tenants are fighting the changes. In June, both the owners and tenants testified before a city administrative law judge about the “certificate of non-harassment” required by law for such construction.
Guess we know now how that hearing turned out. Score another win for the boutique lobby.