On Friday, June 24, the Department of Buildings vacated all residents of the New York Empire Hostel, operating in an industrially zoned building at 269 Meserole St. in East Williamsburg. Inspectors evacuated 50-60 guests, claiming the visitors were in “imminent danger” if they continued their stay. Authorities received a tip that some 30 people were housed in one loft where rooms reportedly lacked windows and were subject to poor sprinkler coverage.
The New York Empire Hostel charged visitors $50/night to room with up to 12 people in what the now-defunct website termed the “Heart of Hip Williamsburg.”
The Dept. of Buildings reported full-height walls cutting up units, up to 12 bunks per room, and improper fire-safety systems, in addition to unpermitted bathrooms.