Prince Hotel owner takes city to court to stop sale
The city is moving ahead with the planned auction of the trouble-plagued Prince Hotel in Bay Ridge, despite the fact that the hotel’s owner is taking the de Blasio administration to court over the matter, according to a local lawmaker.
“We remain focused and on track for the auction of the Prince Hotel on June 8 and I am pleased with the progress we have made thus far,” Councilmember Vincent Gentile told the Brooklyn Eagle via email on Tuesday after it was learned that the hotel’s owner, Bay Ridge Prince LLC, had filed a lawsuit against the city in an effort to stop the auction.
Daniel Abramson, an aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio, broke the news of the lawsuit at a Community Board 10 meeting on April 19, according to several people who attended the meeting.
Abramson told the community board that a court hearing has been scheduled for May 13.
The auction is set to take place on June 8 at the Kings County Sheriff’s Office, 210 Joralemon St., Room 909, at 1 p.m. The city will accept cash only for the hotel, according to the sale notice.
The public auction of the Prince Hotel at 315 93rd St. was ordered in the wake of aggressive enforcement at the building by the city sheriff in reaction to scores of alleged violations there and rumors of drug use and violence in the building.
The hotel has been the target of complaints from Bay Ridge residents for decades.
Residents of 93rd Street and people living on surrounding blocks charge that the place is a flophouse and that drug use, prostitution and violent incidents are frequent occurrences there.
“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 earlier this year.
There are 71 outstanding building code violations on record against the Prince Hotel, according to Beckmann.
The sale of the Prince Hotel would pay off the debts that the building’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 Prince Hotel came to de Blasio’s attention when Community Board 10 Vice Chairman Doris Cruz implored him at a town hall at Fort Hamilton High School in February to do something to get rid of the drug dealers and vagrants congregating there.
The mayor promised Cruz that he would crack down on the hotel. “I find the situation with the Prince Hotel unacceptable. I’m not going to stand for it,” de Blasio said.
Twenty-four hours after the mayor’s declaration, dozens of deputies from the Sheriff’s Office descended on the Prince Hotel to start enforcing outstanding violations that the building owner had been hit with and never paid, officials said.
“The Prince has been an albatross around the neck of the area’s quality of life for far too long, so nobody will be sorry to see it go,” Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) said last month.
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