Landlords vs. Tenants
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.
Tenant vs. Landlord
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.
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.
As if living inside of a construction site were not bad enough, your home denuded of its famous art and filled with hundred-year-old dust, it appears the renovations to the Chelsea Hotel could be making those still living there sick—at least that is what the boarders are arguing to DNAinfo, and they have hired an outside health probe to make their case.
Artists and nostalgists need not fear–the Chelsea will remain a hotel.
Joseph Chetrit is the mysterious buyer taking over the famous flophouse, The Journal reports today, beating out more talked about suitors like Andre Balazs, Ian Schrager and David Edelstein. It appears he has no intention of creating condos, unlike some Read More
Where Legends Slept
Where Legends Slept
Perhaps Andre Balazs feels threatened. Or perhaps he sees a redbrick opportunity.
Just a few blocks north of his blockbuster Standard Hotel, the Chelsea sits astride 23rd Street. As The Observer reported after the building was put on the block in the fall, “hoteliers Ian Schrager and André Balazs, as well as the real Read More
Two punks pushing middle age, a man and a woman dressed in black, sat together on a bench in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 29. The room was decorated for Halloween.
Near the couple’s feet, three plastic tombstones and some fake bones were arranged beneath a black-and-white photograph Read More