The Real Deal New York

Developers of Chelsea Hotel project hit with suit from holdout tenants

The lawsuit argues the new owners never got a proper certificate of occupancy
January 23, 2019 11:00AM

The Chelsea Hotel at 222 West 23rd Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The holdout tenants of the Chelsea Hotel, who are fighting for rent-stabilized rooms, are now taking legal action.

The lawsuit is a last-ditch effort to cement the property’s status as an apartment building for permanent residents, the New York Post reported. Five residents have rent-stabilized leases at the landmark building, which BD Hotels’ Ira Drukier and Richard Born have been redeveloping into a high-end hotel and condo with a bar and spa.

The long-term residents — including Jonathan and Susan Berg, who’ve lived there since 1975 — claim their new landlord never got a proper certificate of occupancy.

“As an apartment building, the building is a single-room-occupancy dwelling that is occupied for permanent residence purposes,” the suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, said.

The developers purchased the iconic hotel at 222 West 23rd Street in 2016. At the time, Born told The Real Deal that he was working with the hotel’s 51 residents to preserve or renovate their apartments. “Everything’s tailored to the individual needs of the tenants,” he said. [NYP] — Meenal Vamburkar