Hostel owner buys, may demolish notorious Greenpoint SRO

December 03, 2013 11:29AM

Investor and former Harlem hostel owner Gal Sela acquired the troubled, single-room-occupancy Greenpoint Hotel. He wants to renovate the structure so that it meets the city’s administrative code and then intends to convert it, possibly demolishing the whole structure.

Sela said he was open to buying out the approximately 200 tenants, who are mostly formerly homeless men, according to a report from DNAinfo. He paid $6 million for the deed for 1109 Manhattan Avenue, and $26 million for authority over all tenant leases. 

The building had racked up hundreds of housing violations while owned by longtime landlord Jay Deutschman, DNAinfo said.

“I don’t want to see people living in these conditions,” Sela told the publication. “We’re making sure they’re in a safe environment.”

But Sela’s record as a hotel owner is not pristine. In 2010, the city shut down Sela’s Harlem hostel due to improper zoning and overcrowding, DNAinfo said. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer