Illegal hotel group shuts down two rogue Harlem inns

October 01, 2013 04:05PM

Two illegal hotels sniffed out by Westside Neighborhood Alliance chairman Tom Cayler have shut their doors rather than open their establishments to city inspectors.

The two properties, Sugar Hill Harlem Inn at 460 West 141st Street and its sister hotel at Nearby 408 Convent Avenue, allegedly operated sans a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Buildings and without collecting the city’s 6 percent hotel tax — two measures required by city law for the establishment of a hotel.

“It’s like Nazi Germany,” Jeremy Archer, who owns the two shuttered hotels, told the New York Daily News. “They [investigators] tried to come in here. It was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. They had no warrant.”

Archer also violated city zoning forbidding commercial operations such as hotels in residential districts. The Sugar Hill Harlem Inn is also registered as a single-room occupancy building, which means it can only be rented to long-term boards.

For Cayler, this is Archer’s most shameful offense.

“Why do I care about a hotel in Harlem? Because we are losing affordable housing in Harlem and I care about affordable housing,” Cayler told the Daily News. [NYDN] Julie Strickland