The mayor closes an illegal hotel and plans to convert it into a shelter for low-income homeless people

Mayor Adams has announced a $1.1 million settlement between the city and Hank Freid, the notorious hotel owner known for operating his properties illegally.

The terms of the settlement say that 258 West 97th Street — which Freid illegally operated as the Royal Park International Hotel — will be converted into “82 affordable housing for low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers.”

(Google Maps)

This settlement “ends a decade-long legal battle protecting tenants and housing stock in buildings Freid owned and operated as illegal hotels, including dozens of apartments in this building that were illegally used for short-term rentals,” according to a city press release.

The Fortune Society has acquired the building and is working with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Department of Social Services (DSS) to convert it into 100% affordable housing with rent protection, rehabilitation and on-site social services. This effort will create a total of 82 rent-restricted, affordable apartments: 58 apartments for formerly homeless New Yorkers, nine apartments to be filled through the city’s affordable housing lottery portal, Housing Connect, and 15 units for existing renters who need additional protection received from the city to keep their rents affordable. There will also be a super unit.

Freid is known for illegally operating two other hotels on the Upper West Side: the Marrakech Hotel at 2688 Broadway and the Broadway Hotel at 230 West 101st Street.

The site of the former Marrakech hotel was bought by Toll Brothers in 2019 for $44 million. In 2020, the developer submitted permit to construct a 13-story mixed-use building at 2686 Broadway. Plans for the new development include 73 condominiums and 7,743 square feet of commercial space. Former commercial tenants included a Starbucks and a 99 cent A to Z store.

The Broadway Hotel was purchased in December 2021 for $15.5 million. Long Island-based real estate developer Klosed Properties has acquired the property, and while we’re not sure what the company’s plans are, Klosed Properties is “focused on acquiring condominiums, shopping malls, multi-family homes and mixed-use buildings” (per his website).

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