City looking to force sale of Prince Hotel
Building has amassed $400,000 in violations
In the wake of a raid of the notorious Prince Hotel in Bay Ridge, the New York City Department of Finance is seeking to force the sale of the building.
The sale would take place to pay off the debts that the hotel’s owner owes the city from hundreds of thousands of dollars in violations the building has been hit with over the past 21 years, officials said.
“The Department of Finance is preparing the appropriate writs of execution commanding the sheriff to sell the building to satisfy the outstanding debt owed to the city,” Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.
The hotel is located at 315 93rd St. Bay Ridge Prince LLC is listed as the owner according to Department of Finance records.
It’s a sudden and dramatic turn of events at the hotel, which for years has been the source of complaints from Bay Ridge residents.
Residents of 93rd Street and people living on surrounding blocks charged that the place is a flophouse and that drug use, prostitution and violent incidents are frequent occurrences there.
Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Bay Ridge for a town hall meeting on Feb. 16 and promised hundreds of residents that he would crack down on the hotel.
Twenty-four hours after the mayor’s declaration, sheriffs raided the place.
Dozens of deputies from the Brooklyn Sheriff’s Office descended on the Prince Hotel on Feb. 17. The Sheriff’s Office was called in to enforce outstanding violations that the building owner had been hit with and never paid, officials said.
“The building has over $400,000 in outstanding judgments resulting from this property owner who has failed to satisfy violations from 1995 to the present,” Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann told the Eagle the day after the raid.
The violations run the gamut from illegally operating a transient hotel to failure to install an adequate number of sprinklers. There are 71 outstanding building code violations on record against the Prince Hotel, according to Beckmann, who has a thick folder of paperwork on the violations amassed by the hotel over the years.
Concerns over the Prince Hotel increased when it was revealed last year that the New York City School Construction Authority plans to build a pre-K center on the same block. The pre-K center, to be built at 369 93rd St., is scheduled to open in September of 2017.
At the recent town hall, Community Board 10 Vice Chairman Doris Cruz stood up and implored de Blasio to take action, telling the mayor that residents and civic leaders have complained about the situation to officials for years and that “nothing has been done.”
The mayor promised that he would do something.
“I find the situation with the Prince Hotel unacceptable. I’m not going to stand for it. There will be enforcement at the Prince Hotel,” de Blasio said.
Cruz said she was pleased when she learned of the raid. “I’m very happy that the Mayor’s Office took immediate action. It shows his commitment to solving the problem,” she told the Eagle.
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