Construction at the Hotel Chelsea has resumed even though health inspectors found high levels of lead in dust at the site.
The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stopped work at the building at 222 West 23rd Street last week. Subsequent tests showed that dust from one windowsill contained 6,500 micrograms of lead, or more than 20 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “acceptable” standard of 250. But because the department didn’t find any “visible signs of dust” where the hotel’s remaining tenants live, it decided to let work resume, a spokesperson told DNAinfo.
Hoteliers Richard Born, Ira Drukier and Sean MacPherson bought the famed hotel for $250 million in October. Renovations began as early as July. The new owners plan to open 120-plus hotel rooms by 2018. As of July, 51 rent-stabilized tenants were living in the building, and the developers said they plan to preserve some of their units.
Over the years the hotel was home to Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Arthur Miller, among many other artists and musicians.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development recorded 149 open violations at the site. In October, the Department of Buildings issued a partial stop-work order at the property for failing to ensure tenants’ protection. [DNAinfo] — Konrad Putzier