celebrity real estate
Landlords vs. Tenants
Now that Lindsay Lohan has been kicked out of the Chateau Marmont for not paying her $46,000 bill, it is time for her to pack her bags and move Eastward. Surprisingly, the LAPD is letting her do this, despite the fact that up until yesterday she was the prime suspect in yet another jewel-swiping case. And what of The Canyons? Will no one think of The Canyons?
Just when you hoped that New York City had successfully dodged its last heat-seeking paparazzo after Los Angeles’ native Kim Kardashian left the Gansevoort, the New York Daily News is reporting that LiLo is moving to Tribeca and rooming with her assistant.
But where will she ultimately be hanging her temporary hat? We have some ideas.
Tenant vs. Landlord
The residents of the Chelsea Hotel may still return to their mold-infested, dust-filled rooms this evening, but it will be with the glow of victory.
After failing to get the historic hotel’s new owner Joseph Chetrit to negotiate an agreement to repair the decaying building’s moldering walls, asbestos-filled airshafts and crumbling plaster, the tenants took the sidewalk yesterday in front of their building yesterday, along with a phalanx of politicians, to declare that they were ready to take the matter to a housing court trial.
The Chelsea Hotel Tenants Association, which filed a lawsuit against the Chetrit group to force the group to rectify unsafe conditions in the building last December, finally got its agreement today in housing court, said tenant attorney Janet Ray Kalson.
Sunday morning in front of the Chelsea Hotel, a crowd of eccentrically-attired, artistic types milled about the sidewalk while a scrum of reporters and local politicians scrutinized a collection of photographs propped on easels.
A passerby stopped to gawk. “What is this, an art show?” she asked.
In light of Hotel Chelsea’s application for building a swanky rooftop, Curbed took us back in history to the time when board members kicked out the hotel’s manager Stanley Bard. Gothamist interviewed Mr. Bard and received a tour of the hotel five years ago, and my how much it has changed.
Gene Kaufman, the swankest architect in town, went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday to try and win support for an addition atop the Hotel Chelsea, which Mr. Kaufman is redecorating for mysterious developer Joseph Chetrit. Tenants, who have lodged numerous complaints about the renovations, are especially concerned about a rooftop addition that they fear will become an all-night party spot. It turns out they have some powerful neighbors who agree.
Every local elected official thinks the rooftop addition is a bad idea, and they submitted testimony to the commission saying so. Signed by Congressman Jerry Nadler, Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Tom Duane and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the letter (attached in full below) condemns the addition as a bacchanalia waiting to happen.
As readers of The Observer know, Joseph Chetrit might be the most secretive big-time developer in a city full of the type. The guy owns part of the Willis Tower, for God’s sake, and still nobody really know who he is. Oh, and as of not to long ago, the Chelsea Hotel, which he is thoroughly mucking about in. Well, his minions are, since Mr. Chetrit has never publicly been seen at the hotel.
But he did make an unexpected appearance at a local community board meeting last night, to defend ongoing renovations, including a penthouse he hopes to add to the landmarked hostel. According to DNAinfo, Mr. Chetrit said little during the three hour meeting, though he eventually broke in near the middle to make his case for the project.
After releasing a statement on Wednesday outlining why she was still going to perform for the tenants at the Chelsea Hotel—despite their wishes—Patti Smith changed her mind and pulled out of the performance shortly before she was due onstage last night.
However, even though she bowed to the pressure and cancelled her Thursday performance for the tenants railing against her, The Architect’s Newspaper reports how she still did performed at the hotel this week to a crowd of media and art folks, a private performance for the hotelier on Wednesday. It seems the revered Ms. Smith has suffered from a serious bout of flip-flopping on the issue, which now appears to have been grossly ill judged, leaving her contradicting herself.
When Joseph Chetrit bought the Chelsea Hotel, there was widespread fear of what would become to the grand old dame. Would she lose her quirks and charm, the characteristics that made this The Chelsea? The Real Deal got a look around the redbrick behemoth on 23rd Street recently, and it looks like the answer is a definite yes.
Real estate investor Joseph Chetrit closed on his nearly $80 million Chelsea Hotel buy early last week, and now information has trickled out about how he and junior partner Clipper Equities paid for it.
They got an $85 million, 36-month loan from Paris-based banking behemoth Natixis. The loan has a 12-month repayment extension option, and was brokered for the borrowers by Meridian’s Ronnie Levine and Aaron Birnbaum. (Real Estate Weekly has more news on the loan.)
Clipper, incidentally, was the controversial would-be buyer of the massive affordable-housing complex in Brooklyn, Starrett City, offering $1.3 billion in 2007.
Here is the reassuring letter, obtained by The Observer and dated Aug. 4, that several local politicians, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, sent to tenants at the Chelsea Hotel. A lot has been going on there.