UPDATED: April 20 4:31 p.m.: A small Brooklyn hotel that neighbors say has been causing big problems for decades as a hotbed of prostitution and drug use will be auctioned off by the city.
Moses Fried’s Prince Hotel in Bay Ridge owes nearly $400,000 to the city for code violations, according to the city’s Department of Finance. In February, the Brooklyn sheriff’s office raided the four-story hotel at 315 93rd Street.
Neighbors say the hotel attracts prostitution, fights and drugs, and have been calling on the city to shut it down for years. The New York City Police Department said 70 calls to 911 have been made in the past two years about fights, disorderly conduct and other complaints at the address, the New York Times reported.
“Prince Hotel has long been a notorious hot spot for drug dealing and prostitution, made worse by a slew of building code violations and zoning-related problems,” Austin Finan, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said in an email to the newspaper. “For too long, the property has impinged on local residents’ quality of life.”
Originally, the hotel was a 20-unit apartment building that was cut into some 40 smaller rooms, and has not had a certificate of occupancy since the 1980s, the Times reported.
Fried, 87, also owned two hotels — the Princess in Downtown Brooklyn and a second Prince in Clinton Hill — that were shut down at times due to complaints about prostitution and building violations, according to news reports.
“We are the victims of Moses Fried,” City Council member Vincent Gentile, who represents Bay Ridge, told the Times.
Fried declined to comment to the Times. A 37-year-old hotel resident told the Times she pays less than $200 a month for a one-bedroom apartment without a kitchen.
The city plans to auction the property on June 8. [NYT] — Dusica Sue Malesevic
A previous version of this post had the square footage of the hotel at 1,000, which has been removed.