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Thread: Hotel Riverview - 113 Jane Street - Meatpacking District

  1. #1

    Default Hotel Riverview - 113 Jane Street - Meatpacking District

    Endgame for Old New York at the Hotel Riverview

    by Chris Shott | January 22, 2008



    Neighbors have noticed some peculiar noises coming from inside the ancient Hotel Riverview in Greenwich Village.

    Could it be the shrieking ghosts of the sunken Titanic, whose lost souls are rumored to haunt the former seaman’s flophouse—or, is it just the clamor of illegal construction?

    In recent weeks, the Buildings Department has responded to multiple allegations of covert renovations occurring inside the Jane Street landmark in spite of a Jan. 8 stop-work order imposed upon the premises.

    Records show that the city received at least three reports of possible violations last Thursday alone. On Tuesday, the city slapped up another stop-work order, citing hotel management’s failure to obey the first one, and issued a $2,000 fine.

    The specter of ownership, at least, became clearer last week, when city records confirmed months of speculation that bicoastal hospitality impresarios Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode would be taking over the century-old inn.

    The duo paid $27 million for the five-story, 211-room hotel, built in 1908, according to paperwork filed on Jan. 17.

    The partners have reportedly pledged to restore the building’s original facade, rebuild a cupola on the hotel’s roof and completely redo the interior in a style similar to their other Manhattan lodgings, including the swank Bowery Hotel, Maritime Hotel and Lafayette House. (The pair also operate the exclusive Waverly Inn restaurant on Bank Street.)

    If the old hotel’s new owners seem a bit overeager to begin all the heavy lifting, starting work weeks before the closing date—and prior to securing the proper permits—then perhaps that’s because of the Herculean task before them.

    The place could obviously use a few repairs, as evidenced by the chunk of decorative molding that dangerously popped loose and fell from the second level in November, crashing onto the sidewalk below.

    The historic ramshackle Hotel Riverview has been ranked the 308th most popular out of 339 hotels in New York City, according to travel site Tripadvisor.com—barely edging out Midtown’s seedy Hotel Carter, which earned the dubious distinction as the nation’s dirtiest hotel this year.

    While guests might not find a decaying corpse under the mattress, as did one person at the Hotel Carter last summer, there are other Old New York charms to discover at the Hotel Riverview. A reported bedbug infestation on the fourth floor back in November, for instance, remains an “open violation,” according to city records.

    The accommodations are admittedly “no-frills.” None of the guest rooms have their own bathrooms, and housekeeping seems to be self-service: “LINENS & TOWELS ARE EXCHANGED ONLY WHEN THE SOLIED [sic] ARE RETURNED,” according to a sign in the lobby, where a crusty concierge conducted business from behind a thick sheet of glass, as if he were your edgy-neighborhood liquor store owner.

    It’s certainly not the most welcoming environment. “No rooms,” the gruff innkeeper informed The Observer around midnight on Monday, even as he counted cash from another customer.

    In keeping with its cheap looks, the Hotel Riverview used to be quite the bargain for Manhattan. While the average room rate has risen to nearly $300 per night, according to city figures, a single boarder could shack up at the Riverview for less than $200 per week, or roughly $30 a night. “Exceptionally moderate prices makes popular [sic] with artists, writers, students (and naturally their parents) as well as businessmen and women here for a night or more,” according to the hotel’s Web site.

    Lately, though, the hotel hasn’t been accepting any new roomers. “Check back in a month or so,” said the guy at the counter.

    Renovations are rather difficult, after all, with clingy inhabitants still hanging around. And the check-in freeze isn’t the only solution to the problem.

    At least seven long-term Riverview dwellers are already facing eviction proceedings, according to Manhattan housing court records, with three warrants issued just this past Friday.

    In one case, homeless advocate Pinchos Kurinsky, director of the Manhattan-based Educational Alliance’s Project O.R.E., has pleaded with a judge to postpone the ejection of an elderly man who recently lost his job and owed the hotel more than $3,000 in back rent. “This adds to his level of stress,” wrote Mr. Kurinsky in a Jan. 4 letter, which requested the delay in order to secure alternative housing for the man, who had tested positive for tuberculosis but was “not contagious.”

    Single-room occupancy buildings like the Riverview are sometimes the only affordable option for low-income city residents, which seems merely an afterthought amid today’s booming hotel market.

    “That hotel has so much potential,” said Armin Amiri, proprietor of the trendy Socialista bar and restaurant, which operates out of the hotel’s basement. “It’s got amazing rooms that you could do a lot with.”

    Mr. Amiri told The Observer that he too had wanted to buy the decrepit building. “But by the time I got my people together,” he said, “I was running a little bit late to close the deal.

    “They’re going to bring a great crowd to the neighborhood,” Mr. Amiri said of the new owners, whose usual upscale clientele more closely resembles his own. “The problem is, it’s not going to happen as quick as anybody wishes for it to happen.”

    http://www.observer.com/2008/endgame...otel-riverview

    Copyright © 2008 The New York Observer. All rights reserved.




    Hotel Riverview Could Regain Its Sea Legs



    BY BRADLEY HOPE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
    December 19, 2007
    URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/68284

    The businessmen behind the Bowery Hotel are planning a new luxury boutique hotel in the West Village, according to documents filed with the city and people briefed on the project.

    Hoteliers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode, who run the Waverly Inn and Gemma restaurants, and the Maritime Hotel on West 16th Street, presented their plans to transform the Hotel Riverview at 113 Jane St. to Community Board 2's business committee last week. The committee unanimously approved their application for a hotel liquor license; the final full community board vote is tomorrow night.
    The building, which houses the popular Cuban restaurant Socialista, was once the American Seaman's Friend Society Sailors' Home and Institute. Sailors who survived the sinking of the Titanic stayed there, according to a New York Times article from 1912.

    Messrs. MacPherson and Goode want to restore the landmarked building to its original look, which entails stripping away a layer of red paint to show the original stone façade and rebuilding an octagonal cupola on the roof.

    "The main thing will be the cupola," one of the historic consultants for the project, Bill Higgins of Higgins, Quasebarth, & Partners, said.
    The hoteliers' plans for the building include a hotel with a bar in a lounge on the first floor, a restaurant on the second floor, and a roof terrace with another small bar and views of the Hudson River, a community organizer who attended the meeting, Zella Jones, said.
    Also, some rooms would have private sunning areas on the roof, she said.

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission has already approved a permit for interior alterations on the first floor, a spokeswoman, Elisabeth de Bourbon, said.

    Permission of the commission is required for projects where interior renovations may affect the outward appearance of the building.
    A spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings, Carly Sullivan, said the developers gave notice on November 27 that they will be presenting plans for renovations. An application for a Certificate of No Harassment, which is required for renovations, was filed November 7 with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, according to records.

    Messrs. MacPherson and Goode and the current owners of the Hotel Riverview declined to comment for this article.

    Following its incarnation as a home for sailors, the building was turned into the Jane West Hotel and the Hotel Riverview, as it is now called.

  2. #2

    Default May You Please Stop Spreading Lies About The Riverview?

    we The Tenants Of The Riverview Hotel Appreciate If You Would Verify And Fact Checked Before Posting News About Our Building.
    we Have Been Already Notified By The Landlord, Mrs. Marie Seltzer, That She Didn't Sale The Building. What She Did, Was Renting The Whole Building To These People. By The Same Token, Mr.goode And Mc.phearson Are Involved With Other Money Men Who Don't Appear In All These Pr. Campaign To Spread Lies About The Financial Status Of These People.
    it Is Important That You Know And Everybody Know That So Far? This Over Hipped Team? Have Been Violating The Building Department Stop Construction Orders. As You Better Know? In Trying To Put Their Hands In An Sro? So Many Speculators Like Them? Try To Hurt The Building Structure And Then Go To The Authorities Claiming Safety Concerns And Then Mass Evict Tenants.
    once Again, Please Verify The Facts Before You Assure The Public That This Is True. Ty

  3. #3

    Default

    Take it up with the editors of the sun and the Observer, bub.

    We ain't no newspaper.

  4. #4
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    Default

    ^ did you say "bub"?

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    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    I'm relieved that the building is being renovated instead of torn down. It looks great from the park and has so much character.
    That said, this place is so disgusting inside. I checked there in 1992 for a room and it was roach city, full of nasties. Rooms the size of a closet, it was like a rabbit warren in there. They have their work cut out for them...I'll be so curious to see what they make of it.

  6. #6
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Default

    They can't tear it down, it's landmarked.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default

    And, as morix points out above, there are legally-protected long-term SRO tenants who live at the Riverside -- and the new developers (who are involved here either by lease or by purchase) wiill need to properly accomodate those residents during the interior re-construction.

    If the developers don't then they are no better than any other NYC scum-lord -- and definitely not the hip hotelieres that they are trying to appear to be.

  8. #8
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Question Interesting concept -

    Does hip = compassionate?

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Hipsters definitely want others to believe they are compassionate.

    Otherwise they're just Yuppies -- who have no pretense to compassion, just the bottom line.

  10. #10
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Question

    Poseurs?

  11. #11

    Default Oh yes

    Oh yes I’m the great pretender (ooh ooh)
    Pretending I’m doing so well (ooh ooh)
    My need is such I pretend too much
    I’m lonely but no one can tell

    Oh yes I’m the great pretender (ooh ooh)
    Adrift in a world of my own (ooh ooh)
    I play the game but to my real shame
    You’ve left me to dream all alone

    Too real is this feeling of make believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

    Ooh ooh yes I’m the great pretender (ooh ooh)
    Just laughing and gay like a clown (ooh ooh)
    I seem to be what I’m not (you see)
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that you’re still around

    Yeah ooh hoo
    Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

    Oh yes I’m the great pretender
    Just laughing and gay like a clown (ooh ooh)
    I seem to be what I’m not you see
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown

  12. #12
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Cool Barkeep -

    Send another cocktail over to our friend by the piano!

  13. #13

    Default 113 Jane Street - Beautiful Lights Project

    Do you have any idea how long this renovation may take? I am currently involved with the Jane Street Beautiful Lights project wherein the 3 lights between West and Washington will be replaced with a new bishop's crook light. The project began on Friday, 1/22 and replaced only one of three. Due to scaffolding around the lamppost in front of 113 Jane, the project was halted and cannot resume until it is removed. This project is meant to enhance the beauty of Jane Street and it's been the efforts of all the residents on this block to renovate all 18 lamps but for now funds raised can cover these three. Is there any ETA on removal of lamppost scaffolding? It's upsetting that after 3 yrs and the part of the project funded that now it is on hold. Please help with any feedback or direction you can give on this....thank you!!

  14. #14
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Is there any way you could piggyback new lamps into the cost of renovation of this property? Or perhaps put the two available lamps elsewhere on the block, not so near the hotel for the time being?

  15. #15
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Default

    photos of the bishop's crook light here:

    http://www.forgotten-ny.com/LAMPS/Bi...ks/bishop.html

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