Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Illegal Harlem hostel shut down

From NY1:

A Harlem building was shut down by the city Thursday night, leaving more than a hundred tourists from all over the world with no place to stay.

The Department of Buildings issued a vacate order at the L-Hostel on 117th Street and 7th Avenue, citing the six-story residential building was illegally converted into a hostel.

The owner says he has owned the building for five years, and insists it's legal.

Tourists forced out into the street say they have no idea where they are going to go.

"They came in this afternoon and told everyone to leave. People come and they make reservations, and all day long they are coming off the planes and getting here and they have no place to stay, and all the other hostels are kind of full because no one has been flying these last five days so it's hard already to find a place," said one displaced tourist.

"I have the approved plan, and I was shocked by the fact that they are forcing us to kick people to the street with no reason," said the building's owner, Gal Sela.

Sela says he has not been able to get in touch with the DOB.

Many of the tourists have been staying there for the last week or so because they have not been able to fly back to Europe, thanks to the volcano ash cloud.


Anonymous said...

He got caught breaking the law and acts all surprised when the cops show up. I hope the bastard is forced to forfeit all of his ill gotten gains.
You can bet the bastard didn't pay a cent of taxes on this sham.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the tourists caught in the middle. Although I hate the ugly hotels that have sprouted up in the Queens Plaza area, I hope a few tourists drift over here so that they are not left without anything.

LibertyBoyNYC said...

No sympathy for the Eurotrash transientin' Harlem for the sake of the cool. Hey, Queens is full of cheap hotels nowadays. Take a bus, Pierre.

Auntie Invasion said...

it's about time they shut down illegal hotels. no go after the Pakastani, Indian and Chinese slumlords who are turning one family houses into boarding houses & chopped up apartments in Queens. can the building owner be deported?

Anonymous said...

Ease up on him.
i stayed here before this happened, and everything looked legit. Whats more, it didn't feel like prices were extortionate -- he was hardly milking backpackers for all they were worth.
It's over 1 staircase.
Everything in there looked ship shape. Sorry to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tripadvisor,
I had a great experience playing pool in the basement until that pesky fire in the only stairwell caused me to burn to death in a hellish inferno. Yeah, except for that, it was great. They should really ease up on him.