Tenants at Chetrit-owned Hotel Chelsea sue for unauthorized work on historic building

TRD New York /
Apr.April 08, 2013 10:00 AM

Tenants at the historic Hotel Chelsea are suing the property’s ownership group, led by Joseph Chetrit, for allowing unauthorized work in March that temporarily knocked out their heat and hot water – and still has them looking for cooking gas.

The residents filed a contempt motion April 3 in New York City Housing Court, claiming the owners have violated a 2012 consent order that requires all construction at the landmark building to follow local building codes and regulations. The lawsuit names Yellow Dynasty, the ownership group, as well as Chelsea Management, Chetrit Group executives Meyer Chetrit and Michael Butler and hotel manager Lilly Sirkin as defendants. The original consent order removed Joseph Chetrit and the Chetrit Group as parties to the deal. 

Neither Chetrit Group officials nor attorney Fred Daniels were immediately available for comment.

As The Real Deal has reported, the Department of Buildings issued a stop work order on The 222 West 23rd Street property for illegal or defective gas piping. Con Edison last month blamed the gas disruption on a plumber doing unauthorized work at the hotel.

Inspectors from several agencies flooded the site after City Council Speaker Christie Quinn brought attention to the outage and mailed an angry letter to Chetrit accusing him of harassing tenants at the site, which is in her district.

The building has 152 open violations with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and was cited by the New York Fire Department for failing to maintain a construction site in general compliance, court papers show.

If The Housing Court sides with the tenants, the owners could be forced to repair the violations, pay legal fees and damages, and could even face fines or jail time if there are further violations, a lawyer for the tenants told The Real Deal.

“They can reorder him (Chetrit) to do the repairs that he hasn’t done under the prior situation,” said Sam Himmelstein, a partner at Himmelstein McConnel Gribben Donoghue & Joseph.

The Chetrit Group bought the property two years ago for $79 million and is converting it into a boutique hotel under the King & Grove brand, which is led by former Morgans Hotel chief Ed Scheetz; King & Grove declined to comment through a spokesperson.

The property is a unique combination of hotel rooms and rental apartments that has been home to legendary artists, writers and musicians, including poet Charles Bukowski and singer Patti Smith. Just last month, Chetrit sued former owner Stanley Bard in State Supreme Court for allegedly providing misleading information about the value of artwork at the property. Bard allowed many of the resident artists to display their works, and often used their art as rent payments.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Hotel Chelsea (Credit: Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Chelsea Hotel owner notches court win over work at iconic property

Chelsea Hotel owner notches court win over work at iconic property
110 East 76th Street and Joseph Chetrit (Credit: Google Maps; Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Joseph Chetrit sells UES townhouse for $25M

Joseph Chetrit sells UES townhouse for $25M
The Chelsea Hotel at 222 West 23rd Street and Ira Drukier (Credit: Google Maps; Drukier by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Chelsea Hotel renovation amounted to tenant harassment, city says

Chelsea Hotel renovation amounted to tenant harassment, city says
118 East 76th Street and Developer Joseph Chetrit (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Manhattan luxury home market off to worst start in seven years

Manhattan luxury home market off to worst start in seven years
Joseph Chetrit and 98 Montague Street in Downtown Brooklyn (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Chetrit Group lands $112M refi for Hotel Bossert project

Chetrit Group lands $112M refi for Hotel Bossert project
The Daily News Building at 220 East 42nd Street and SL Green CEO Marc Holliday (Credit: Getty Images)

Jacob Chetrit buying Daily News building from SL Green for $815M

Jacob Chetrit buying Daily News building from SL Green for $815M
Joe Chetrit revealed as buyer of SL Green’s 1231 Third Avenue

Joe Chetrit revealed as buyer of SL Green’s 1231 Third Avenue

Joe Chetrit revealed as buyer of SL Green’s 1231 Third Avenue
Lies in size: Commercial landlords get boost from increasing ‘loss factor’ and charging for unusable common spaces

Lies in size: Commercial landlords get boost from increasing ‘loss factor’ and charging for unusable common spaces

Lies in size: Commercial landlords get boost from increasing ‘loss factor’ and charging for unusable common spaces
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...