Tuesday, December 2, 2014
City deems East Village Bed & Coffee an 'illegal hotel' on Avenue C
East Village Bed & Coffee has operated as a bed and caffeinated-beverage breakfast these past 16 years at 110 Avenue C near East Seventh Street.
No longer, though. A sign on the door explains…
The city issued a Partial Vacate Order on Nov. 24 … noting an "illegally converted 2 family house and business … into 11 class B rooming units."
DOB officials affixed this notice to the door last Monday.
As we understand it, East Village Bed & Coffee, despite its history, got caught up in the state's Airbnb crackdown … and its proprietor, longtime East Village resident Anne Edris, is beside herself.
[Photo by Laura Zelasnic]
Top photos by Dave on 7th
Posted by Grieve at 5:12 AM
Labels: East Village Bed & Coffee
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after all we must make sure the big developers and hotel chains get all the business from the tourist invasion making our city a hell hole.
She should contact the Institute for Justice to defend her rights against the criminals at Havana-on-the-Hudson.
Bill the libertarian anarchist and enemy of socialist crookeaucrats and bureauthugs
Another example of Government intrusion in the private sector living a block away many a weekend morning I see couples with luggage hailing cabs to the airport it is so quiet the only hint of lodging is the hailing of cabs...Hey got nothing to do how about cleaning up drug deals on Ave D.
Illegal hotels are a menace to the quality of life of EV residents, regardless of how long the proprietors have lived in the neighborhood. The history of this place has nothing to do with its illegal-ness. Either we're okay with AirBNB renters disrupting our quality of life, or we're on board with ALL hotels being compliant with regulations.
OH, CRY ME A RIVER!
This woman has been renting out 10 rooms at $100-180 per night for 16 years!! In al that time, and with all that income she could have done a legitimate conversion WITH the essential FDNY fire and safety requirements for evacuation. 10 rooms without proper egress is reckless!!
She had a damned good run, and made a shitload of money - gravy train - END.
There are people in this neighborhood being unfairly evicted and abused by developers and the city - THIS LADY AIN'T ONE !!!!!!
yup, who cares about this?? not me
Let's be honest - how exactly has Airbnb or this business had a negative effect on you? Worse neighborhood offenders are the rowdy late night bars which bring noise, garbage, and problems.
I was under the impression this was a family renting rooms to travelers. It never struck me as anything more or less than a B&B type place. It is too bad they got caught in the AirBnB crap. Sixteen years ago there weren't many places to stay in this part of town and I for one feel for them. Sorry for their loss.
Seriously, honestly -- how does Airbnb and this establishment negatively affect you or the neighborhood? I think the ridiculous amount of bars contributes to the noise, garbage, and problems in the East Village way more than this establishment and Airbnb rentals.
If she installs a sprinkler system and creates a secondary means of egress in case of a fire, can she re-open her business? I am surprised she operated for all those years with neither. Her insurance rates must have been insane if she could even get insured. Anyway, I wish her luck. If she can make the necessary repairs, she should be allowed to go back into business.
Airbnb affects the neighborhood by driving up rents. People have been leasing dozens of apartments and then listing them. 30 x ~$150 = $4500/month. Landlords have been getting wise and raising rents in order to get a piece of the action. This is what the state is trying to crack down on.
I am surprised that Airbnb rentals are even allowed in an old tenement like mine. We don't have sprinklers, and if you don't know the trick to opening the old gates that are in a lot of the apartments, you aren't going to be able to get out to the fire escape.
AirBnB is a negative. The hotel "guests" in our apartment building are transients, disrespectful, make a mess, and strangers. Not good for community, safety, or pleasant and civil living.
Furthermore, AirBnB over time drives up rents. In the long run, it does not help the "little guy" trying to make ends meet but rather makes the cost of living go up and up.
- East Villager
" how exactly has Airbnb or this business had a negative effect on you? Worse neighborhood offenders are the rowdy late night bars which bring noise, garbage, and problems."
Air BnB 'guests' esp. the ones in the EV are the the ones being rowdy in the building they're staying and are the offenders patronizing the late night bars and they bring noise, garbage, and problems.
Seriously 1:23 PM.
1. Apartments are built to different codes than hotels (which are written to protect consumers).
2. People who sign leases to rent a NYC apartment have the right to assume stability from their neighbors, not a constantly changing cast of characters unvetted by the landlord.
AirBnB does an end run around both those things, and the safety and QOL of everybody in the building affected suffers as a result.
Once one apartment is airbnb'ed, there is no security to your building, you have to assume the entry key is copied. Maybe that doesn't bother some people that your building keys are being sold out on the street.
I have had people in my apt use Airbnb and it has never been a problem. And it's kind of bullshit with the security argument, too. Anyone in your building can give out a key and that creates a security 'problem'. A landlord who is using apts is a problem. But people who do it a few times a year, helps pay the rent. People in my building do it and I have too. It helps pay the rent. Rents get raised because people come in and are willing to pay a much higher price than others in the building. This hurts everyone.
There's a woman a few floors down from me who was running basically a youth hostel, and I have to assume these were AirBnB clients. Since our front door key is a "Do Not Duplicate" key, I'm not sure how she got around that.
It's just annoying as fuck to have additional tenants in your building. Plus, there was this VICE article that I feel is fairly spot-on.
Your calling bullshit on the security argument is the real bullshit. Obvious Fact To Everyone But Airbnb Hosts: Unvetted transient strangers with your door key are absolutely a security risk to your building in countless ways. Also, one reason rents get raised so high [that you have to rent out your own apt to pay it] is because Airbnb makes rental apts more scarce for actual NYC residents, using those apts for tourists instead. They are warping our Supply And Demand in a way that hurts the people that actually live here - including you.
Bothers me so much to read people here spew their psuedo tough on crime rhetoric. In the real world airbnb does absolutely nothing negative to you or your neighborhood. I suppose you'll be happier living in a fishbowl when EV looks like times square. You have to wonder how much time and money the NYC Bureaucrats wasted shutting this places and others like it down, it does no positive whatsoever but keep believing you're 'standing up' for something, SMH ridiculous.
I don't see how the security argument is "bullshit?" How is giving a bunch of strangers keys to a private residence not a security issue? I'm personally less concerned with noise and bar-going, and more concerned about theft and being assaulted in my own home. If strangers have access to my building, then the lobby and hallways and stairways are no better than the street (actually, they are probably less safe since there aren't passersby for protection).
It sucks to pay a billion dollars a month in rent just to be made unsafe by your own (selfish, IMO) neighbors.
We have a tenants association and we call the landlord and 311 on illegal hotels in our building. The Airbnb guy who just got evicted didn't even live here. He lived in NJ and apparently had a few of these deals going on around town.
The reason why calling 311 AND the landlord is effective is because it's the landlord who gets fined so it's in his/her interest to solve the problem before the city gets involved. It's a good idea to keep a record of the 311 complaint number and pass it on to CB3 so they can track it and get some idea of the extent of Airbnb (ab)use in the neighborhood. You can make the 311 complaint anonymously if you want.
I have been using Airbnb when I leave town for over three years. I've never had a neighbor complain. And I have asked them. They usually say they don't even notice. My neighbors have used Airbnb and every person who stayed has been great. Landlords who use WHOLE buildings are the problem. The landlords are the problem in this city. My landlord raises my rent every year. Every year. $500 over the past five years. Way more than the cost of living increase. Why? Because they can. They do not care about tenant loyalty. They care about the almighty dollar. The city should crack down on the landlords. Not tenants who use Airbnb a few times a year.
Some people here... If you and all your neighbors so love AirBnB (I do not believe that for a second), go ahead and do what you're doing. Don't tell the rest of us that we're bullshitting when we're upset about often loud, disrespectful transients in our buildings, and keys switching hands every couple of days. My building's TA already got someone evicted for renting out on AirBnB and we will do the same if the situation ever occurs again. We will also make sure your "guests" have a MISERABLE time here. Hopefully they'll write a review of their experience on your AirBnB page.
How are keys switching hands every few days going to happen if it's a few times a year? Exaggeration and misery will not make your point.
We have an illegal hotel in our building. Once we had three fratty types who threatened a resident who wouldn't let them in (they'd apparently lost their key) and later -- the circumstances weren't exactly clear -- broke a window over the fire escape, raining big sheets of glass down into the street. Residents heard fighting and yelling before the glass broke. They told the cops that one of the guys went out on the fire escape and accidentally broke the glass trying to get back in, but then the glass would have fallen INSIDE the apartment, not out into the street! So who knows. Anyway, we were lucky no one was badly hurt. And regardless, it IS annoying to have strangers trooping through the building at all hours, with us not knowing who has keys. (And this is a condo, so it's a hassle to force the owner to sell the unit, even with citations from the fire dept, the police report, and hidden camera footage clearly showing that people are coming and going all the time. It sucks, because this is a sweet old tenement with a lot of lovely neighbors, and the illegal renting is horrid for everyone's quality of life.)
"Airbnb affects the neighborhood by driving up rents. People have been leasing dozens of apartments and then listing them. 30 x ~$150 = $4500/month. Landlords have been getting wise and raising rents in order to get a piece of the action. This is what the state is trying to crack down on."
The city is cracking down ONLY because they're after a piece of the action as well -- they're pissed about the hotel taxes they haven't been getting from Airbnb rentals. That's ALL the city cares about. If fire safety was the real issue, then EVERY apartment would need to be retro-fitted with sprinklers and have additional egresses installed.
It's a vicious cycle alright: the city jacks up real estate taxes on buildings due to higher assessed values stemming from foreign investors (BIG money from Russians + Chinese fueling acquisitions by the likes of Shoal and his ilk who work as their shills) and domestic speculators paying insane prices for properties; rents are increased by smaller landlords who must cover higher costs of keeping their buildings while other landlords create "market rate" apartments only to squeeze as much money per square foot as possible out of each unit; Airbnb takes advantage of exorbitant NYC hotel rates by offering cheaper short stays in NYC apartments; tenants faced with huge rents try to make a few bucks by renting a room or their whole apartment either while they're home or out of town while some landlords make whole buildings and some tenants have several apartments available to transient one-nighters or weekenders.
Personally, I like knowing WHO lives in my building -- I do not feel safe with front door keys being handed out to transients and strangers, who have nothing to lose by compromising building security.
In this particular case, as this woman owns her building, I do not see WHO was being hurt by her renting her rooms out. Seems to me that if she gave the city its cut, she'd still be in business....
Anonymous said "How are keys switching hands every few days going to happen if it's a few times a year?"
Huh? You seem strikingly unaware of the issue you are discussing. They don't tend to say this in their profiles, but you should know that many of these Airbnb apts have been quietly snatched up and rented out by investment groups posing as individuals and have regular tourist turnover. That's one way you can end up with keys switching hands every few days or weeks. There are others too.
Why did all the comments turn into a forum on AirBnB? I thought this story was about a 16 year old BnB business that many people liked.
"Why did all the comments turn into a forum on AirBnB?"
Exactly! EVBandC has nothing to do with AirBnB other than it has been sucked into the poorly written legislation meant to eliminate the slummy hostel-like situations that were occurring through AirBnB. Now - clearing up a few uninformed assumptions some of you chumps have made: I have stayed at EVBandC as a guest about half a dozen times. It is clean, well run, and managed with a passion for hospitality. The proprietor DOES pay all the hotel taxes and has for many years. She does not own the building but is more like the Super and rents the entire thing from the owner who if fully aware of her business and approves. She does not rake in money on this business like some here have assumed. The retrofit of sprinkler systems to bring the building to code is a huge cost, though she has been working on getting that done. Repairs to damage caused by Sandy became her financial responsibility as the building owner wouldn't make the repairs and that took priority. Finally, what many of you fail to realize is that before the so-called "illegal hotel" law came about a few years ago, her business WAS 100% LEGAL. After running a legal business for 16 years, paying hotel taxes, and providing a service that basically didn't exist in the neighborhood for a long time, the rug has been pulled out from underneath. YOU go start a small business, run it well, put your heart and soul into it, and then have the city/state suddenly tell you what you're doing is illegal and you must fork over $15K+ to become legal again... then maybe you'll get it.
My husband and I have used this B&B on several occasions because it's only a couple of blocks from our daughter's very small apartment. Where else could we stay and be near her? There aren't any Holiday Inns anywhere near. The East Village people who object to this kind of establishment should get over themselves. This place serves a legitimate need.
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