A Conversation With The New Owner of The Greenpoint Hotel

September 30, 2009 by
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

gpthotel

I have received a great number of reader emails regarding the recent happenings at the place formerly known as the Greenpoint Hotel. Many of them more or less are along the lines of the following, which was written by a chap named Dave:

hey, i thought you would be interested to know that the greenpoint hotel got a face lift today…i was grabbing a coffee at champion and noticed scaffolding and painters updating the beige-y pink building of sin. Gone was the foreboding “HOTEL” sign, which may only be missing during the painting. Later in the day I noticed the paint was extended to the next door laundry mat. I guess the two are connected.

For those of you who are not in the know, the Greenpoint Hotel was sold earlier this month. What you may not know is who bought it: a man named Jay Deutchman. I spoke to him on the telephone this morning about the future of this, one of Greenpoint’s, more dubious establishments. Follows is a general outline of points were discussed.

THE BUY

  1. He purchased this property on September 2nd.
  2. The DEA had apparently seized the property from its prior owner: Max Stark.
  3. It was a hostile buy, e.g.; Mr. Deutchman was provided very little background information about the place. (As he jokingly remarked at the end of our conversation: I wish I would have read your blog before buying it. I might have had second thoughts.)

CHANGES AFOOT: As Dan (and many of you, dear readers, have noted) a number of cosmetic changes have been made to this complex since— much as painting the facade and removing the “Hotel” sign. Here are few more changes Mr. Deutchman is implementing:

  1. Curing the numerous standing Department of Buildings/Fire code violations including: a hazardous wall, repairing the fire safety doors (which would not close) and replacing 170 sprinkler heads. The latter most were done with the consultation of the Fire Department. By his own guesstimation Mr. Deutchamn thinks her has completed about 75% of the work required to bring this building into compliance.
  2. Mr. Deutchman is also working with the 94th Precinct’s Community Liaison, Scott Adamo, in regards to the drug activity which has long plagued this building. Among the changes he has/is in the process of making are:a. Hiring eight “Safety Directors” (security guards) to monitor the building.
    b.
    Installing a surveillance system.
    c. Requiring all visitors to sign in and present identification.
    d
    . Installing a swipe card system at the entrance of the building.
    e.
    Removing all the unregistered sex offenders from the building. Mr. Deutchman did not indicate to me how many there were but I intuit there were quite a few. Yikes!
  3. As my previous post indicated, he is in the process of vacating this property. There were 100 residents at the time he purchased it. He has since reduced this number to 70. In three weeks he estimates he will be at 95% vacancy. He is actively working with city agencies, the Veteran’s Administration and colleagues to rehouse those who are being displaced.
    a. Needless to say, he is not renting rooms. He made it clear to me that he has no experiencing running a hotel and has no interest in doing so.
    b.
    He specializes in the operation of SROs and made it very clear that this building will NOT be converted into a rehab facility.

All in all I came away with a positive feeling from our conversation. Mr. Deutchman seems to understand why the community is is in a tizzy about the changes he is implementing at this storied and notorious address. Aside from reaching out to the police department he wants to meet with our local community board (this has yet to happen) and any concerned neighbors to hear their concerns. To this end any and all are encouraged to call his office to schedule a meeting with him. Those of who want to take Mr. Deutchman up on his offer can do so by calling (347) 294-0110. Ask for Jay.

Otherwise, we have made a tentative “date” (ok, we agreed to make a date) to tour 1109 Manhattan Avenue so I can see the changes he is making in person. I can hardly wait!

To be continued…?

Miss Heather

Comments

8 Comments on A Conversation With The New Owner of The Greenpoint Hotel

  1. charlesv on Wed, 30th Sep 2009 12:34 pm
  2. Wow! I’m impressed by a) your tenacity b) his opennness and c) that he is not a slumlord and is actually wanting to effect some change. Kudos all around

  3. missheather on Wed, 30th Sep 2009 12:36 pm
  4. Only time will tell if he keeps his promises. HOWEVER, his willingness to meet with neighbors and community leaders is a very good sign.

  5. Christo on Wed, 30th Sep 2009 2:51 pm
  6. Lot’s of what it’s NOT going to be. Any ideas on what it WILL be??

  7. missheather on Wed, 30th Sep 2009 4:11 pm
  8. That’s why I want to write up a follow-up post! I want to discuss this with him in person.

  9. FutureMan on Thu, 1st Oct 2009 4:41 am
  10. Trusting Miss Heather’s judgment and relying on past knowledge of her writing style, I’d say this guy made quite an impression. Your lack of sarcasm and cynicism in this post makes me think this guy is the real deal. Hope your intuitions are correct!

  11. mbrooklyn on Thu, 1st Oct 2009 10:26 am
  12. quick google search:
    http://www.newser.com/archive-business-news/1G1-15420376/sec-charges-mahopac-ny-man-with-running-35-million-ponzi-scheme-jay-deutchman.html
    same guy? no time to pursue since i’m at work…
    meanwhile, i’ve lived on clay st for 10 years, and the drug dealing in the past few years really seemed minimal (compared to the open hand-offs that used to happen on the corner). in a way, i think the sort of harmless drunks/downandouters who have been living in the hotel need a safe place like this hood, where they themselves dont become victims (which they do, in worse neighborhoods).

  13. Christo on Thu, 1st Oct 2009 10:37 am
  14. Can’t wait to read it! Thanks for all you do

  15. neighborhood threat on Thu, 1st Oct 2009 2:27 pm
  16. He says in the article what it will be:
    “He specializes in the operation of SROs”.

    A SRO is not a hotel. It is a very, very specific thing in the NYC laws. This is one of the reasons 239 Banker was shut down.

    “A single room occupancy (more commonly SRO, sometimes called single resident occupancy) is a multiple tenant building that houses one or two people in individual rooms (sometimes two rooms, or two rooms with a bathroom or half bathroom), or to the single room dwelling itself. SRO tenants typically share bathrooms and / or kitchens, while some SRO rooms may include kitchenettes, bathrooms, or half-baths. Although many are former hotels, SROs are primarily rented as a permanent residence.”

    tenant.net has more information about SRO’s.

    But, I don’t understand why he’s evicting the residents if he’s going to run a SRO. On the other hand, he may just want to start with a clean slate and get rid of problem tenants.

    I agree that this city needs SRO’s and the illegal conversion of SRO’s is a problem.

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