Renovations are rather difficult, after all, with clingy inhabitants still hanging around. And the check-in freeze isn’t the only solution to the problem.
At least seven long-term Riverview dwellers are already facing eviction proceedings, according to Manhattan housing court records, with three warrants issued just this past Friday.
In one case, homeless advocate Pinchos Kurinsky, director of the Manhattan-based Educational Alliance’s Project O.R.E., has pleaded with a judge to postpone the ejection of an elderly man who recently lost his job and owed the hotel more than $3,000 in back rent. “This adds to his level of stress,” wrote Mr. Kurinsky in a Jan. 4 letter, which requested the delay in order to secure alternative housing for the man, who had tested positive for tuberculosis but was “not contagious.”
Single-room occupancy buildings like the Riverview are sometimes the only affordable option for low-income city residents, which seems merely an afterthought amid today’s booming hotel market.
“That hotel has so much potential,” said Armin Amiri, proprietor of the trendy Socialista bar and restaurant, which operates out of the hotel’s basement. “It’s got amazing rooms that you could do a lot with.”
Mr. Amiri told The Observer that he too had wanted to buy the decrepit building. “But by the time I got my people together,” he said, “I was running a little bit late to close the deal.
“They’re going to bring a great crowd to the neighborhood,” Mr. Amiri said of the new owners, whose usual upscale clientele more closely resembles his own. “The problem is, it’s not going to happen as quick as anybody wishes for it to happen.”