The Real Deal New York

Landlord of the Chelsea Highline Hotel fires back

The building owners are suing to close the SRO rent loophole

September 05, 2015 03:00PM

Hotel Highline Chelsea at 182-184 11th Avenue and Hamidou Guira

John Leitersdorf, the Hotel Highline Chelsea at 182-184 11th Avenue and Hamidou Guira

No surprise here. The landlord of the Chelsea Highline Hotel, where a cabby used an obscure legal loophole to score a $226 a month apartment, is suing everybody. He’s suing the state, city and the new building resident.

Skybox Chelsea, the owner of the building at 184 11th Avenue, says that the court ruling for the young cabby is “unconstitutional” and “tantamount to taking property without due process,” according to the New York Post.

Manhattan Housing Court Judge Sabrina Kraus granted cabby Hamidou Guira a lifelong $226-a-month lease after he spent just one night in the building, because of a section of the city’s rent-stabilization law that says an SRO occupant who “requests a lease of six months or more . . . shall be a permanent tenant.”

And that decision opens the door for others to do the same thing, according to court papers filed by Skybox Chelsea, which is controlled by Israeli real estate developer John Leitersdorf and partner John Jacobsen.

“It is unfathomable that such an outcome was ­intended by the drafters of these various sections of the code,” the suit claims. The case will be heard in October.[NYP]Christopher Cameron