City crackdown on Airbnb, illegal hotels hits East Williamsburg

Inspectors raid 210 Cook Street, where eight-room hotel catered to guests starting at $31 a night
February 29, 2016 05:25PM

The city’s crackdown on illegal hotels hit East Williamsburg last week, where authorities raided an industrial building used on popular home-sharing websites like Airbnb.

The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement cracked down on 210 Cook Street last Tuesday after receiving multiple 311 complaints about the three-story property. Inspectors from the office found a loft-style space that had been converted into an eight-room hotel.

Rates at 210 Cook Street started at $31 a night on Airbnb, according to the New York Daily News. Guests spending a night at the property would enter a code into a keypad at the door to access the space, which was divided into eight marked “cubbyhole” rooms.

The property was also advertised on travel website Kayak, according to the Daily News, with rooms marketed at $34 a night.

Visitors would share one of two bathrooms and also have access to a kitchen and free Wi-Fi, according to the property’s Airbnb listing.

The home-sharing behemoth subsequently banned the hosts of 210 Cook Street from using its website in wake of the raid, and said it found guests who were staying at the space at the time of the city crackdown another place to stay.

The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, which saw its budget increased last summer as part of the city’s increased focus on combatting illegal subletting, also fined the property’s landlord $7,800 for building code violations and ordered the space vacated. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi