Bill would extend hotel-to-condo conversion ban

Majority of city council has sponsored the measure
May 02, 2017 03:45PM

Ritchie Torres and John Banks

The city is likely to renew a law that limits the conversion of certain hotels into condos or rentals.

A majority of the City Council supports renewing Local Law 50, which prohibits owners of hotels with more than 149 units from converting more than one-fifth of the building to other uses, Crain’s reported. The law went into effect two years ago, and a new bill seeks to extend it for another two.

“It’s common practice to extend laws to allow more time to fully gauge and measure their effectiveness, especially when that law is intended to protect good-paying, middle-class jobs that are at the heart of New York City’s tourism economy,” Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement.

According to a report by a consulting firm last year, hotel-to-residential conversions had little impact on the city’s hotel supply. Still, some officials are concerned by the growth of hotels who employ nonunion workers.

The Real Estate Board of New York filed a lawsuit against the city in 2015 over the law, arguing that it impacted more than 170 hotels. A state Supreme Court judge threw out the lawsuit in June, and REBNY appealed the decision a few months later. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel