Department of Buildings inspectors shut down the New York Empire Hostel and evacuated the 50 to 60 customers lodging in the Williamsburg building because they said visitors were in “imminent danger.” According to BushwickBK, the raid occurred at 269 Meserole Street June 24 when the DOB received a tip that 30 guests were housed in one loft that lacked windows. Authorities also found illegal full-height dividing walls, 12 bunks in a room, insufficient fire safety systems and improper bathrooms.
But a representative for the hostel, which charged customers $50 per night, told the site that the inspection — like the many others conducted in recent months following a recent law that bans short-term rentals — is connected to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s relationship with hote lobbyists. The rep said city officials came to the hostel the day before and found no violations, and complained that there is no way he can fight the inspection. “It’s like going back to Russia where the Communists come in and do whatever they want,” he said. “It’s their word against yours.” [BushwickBK]