Today’s Moment Of Greenpoint Real Estate Insanity: Special 239 Banker Street Edition

239banker5222013You can probably imagine, gentle readers, the recent decision regarding a fellow renting out his apartment (condominium, actually) via Airbnb was of great interest to yours truly. Not that I had to search for it, mind you. Yesterday I awakened in yet another morning episode of allergy hell to find reporting on the subject on my Facebook page and inbox. It’s nice to know people care.

And on that note I am going to pass the love forward to my friends at 239 Banker Street. Today I had a thought while walking by this edifice/poster child for Loft Law abuse. It was as follows:

Gee, wouldn’t it be funny if this building— which was converted from industrial/commercial use to housing illegally— under the pretext of being permissible as a hotel— had a listing on AirBnb (now that it has been established that AirBnb is illegal in our fair city)?

Well, grab hold of your Shit Tits fellow Garden Spotters— it does! What’s more, it is was very easy to discern. Before I proceed, I’d like share to take a moment to share Airbnb’s “response” to the recent court decision (once again, from Gawker):

This decision runs contrary to the stated intention and the plain text of New York law, so obviously we are disappointed. But more importantly, this decision makes it even more critical that New York law be clarified to make sure regular New Yorkers can occasionally rent out their own homes. There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous enforcement officials. It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes. 87 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in — they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law.

Well, given what I have learned recently, we have an exceptional lot of New Yorkers in Greenpoint. Sure, they’re trying to make ends “meet”— but are they home owners? No they are not. Meet “Joseph”. One of the 13%.

airbnbSC5222013NYS

room1

This “average” New Yorker is not only a fashion/celebrity photographer, but he has a rather snazzy profile photo and by all appearances resides at 239 Banker Street.

AirbnblistingversusgooglemapsHILITEDNYS

The “giveaway”? Well for starters the buildings gracing “Joseph’s” (AirBnb certified) “rooftop view”: Pop’s Clothing and House of Vans respectively. Here’s an alternate view from 7 Franklin Street (“Pop’s”) courtesy of Google Maps:

7franklinstreetGooglemaplookingeasthilitedNYS

I have highlighted 239 Banker Street. But wait, there’s more! “Joseph” has done all the homework for me— albeit unintentionally— via a second listing on AirBnb!

BUSTED

Busted!

To recap:

  1. The owners of 239 Banker Street were granted permits to convert this manufacturing/commercial building into a hotel. This is perfectly legal given it is located in an Industrial Business Zone.
  2. Instead, the owners converted it into residences and leased it as such. For $2,100- $2,200 a month.
  3. 239 Banker Street was vacated by the Department of Buildings for conditions hazardous to said residents.
  4. Under new “ownership” 239 Banker is rented out once again as residential lofts. This time for substantially more money.
  5. I raise hell.
  6. I receive an email from my City Councilman regarding the matter. I blog it.
  7. A Loft Law application, however inapplicable it may be presently, is filed.
  8. And now we have a legally-sanctioned hotel converted illegally into residences which, in turn, one resident is illegally employing his apartment as a hotel via AirBnb. Ostensibly to “make ends meet”.

Wouldn’t it have simply been better/easier if this property was a hotel in the first place?

Priceless

(Priceless)

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