LAST GASP: Live From The Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee; Toshi Presents!

September 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Culture War, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Toshi himself was present.

Floor plans were reviewed and residential apartments were noted.

Curbed was on this first when they wrote (on September 21st):

The Hotel Toshi outpost at 808 Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg has been a source of frustration for longer-term building tenants, some of whom broke their leases early because they were fed up with Toshi’s habits of allegedly leaving the building’s side door open, moving tenants’ mail, and renting out rooms for all-night parties. Some long-term renters remained—in fact, the Toshi outpost is apparently legal because the majority of the units are not Toshi-occupied—but they’re not all on board with Toshi’s latest plan: opening a cafe in the building. A tipster sends along the deets.

You can (and should) read the rest by clicking here. Here’s what I can tell you from last night’s proceedings:

1. Cafe Toshi will be offering “heat and eat” meals and touted support from residential tenants of said building.
2. Concerns about egress and overall compliance with Department of Buildings regulations were raised by the Committee.
3. Thus, the application was turned down until documentation about the legality of the “kitchen plus office” is confirmed by the Department of Buildings.
4. Inasmuch as I can recall, Mr. Toshi is the first and only attendee to bring his dog to a Community Board 1 meeting. He (she?) was in a rather nice carrier and kept quiet throughout the proceedings.

For more reading about the Toshi Empire (and its rather rapacious appetite for commandeering residential apartments for “hotel” use, among other things) click here, here, here, here, here and ESPECIALLY HERE.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Chez Toshi

May 5, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Anonymous writes:

Hi Heather,

I hope it’s okay that I come to you when I have random questions about the neighborhood!  On my way home today I noticed that the building at 808 Driggs Ave., which earlier this year was advertised as a rental (I know, because I looked at the apartments.  Decent, but way overpriced), now seems to house another branch of Hotel Toshi.  It says “hotel toshi” on one of the buzzers, and there was a very makeshift-looking flier taped to the outside of the door with the Toshi “logo” on it.  How exactly does this guy run all of these “hotels” out of rental buildings?  I’m mostly curious because I live near this building, and when I googled Toshi it seems like everyone on the Internet is equally mystified by his real estate dealings.

Just curious if you had any thoughts on the guy 🙂

Well, for starters 808 Driggs Avenue has (ostensibly) been canvassed by the Department of Buildings. At least that is what this post over at Curbed would lead one to believe. Apparently they found nothing amiss.

Despite the fact that the buzzer, as you piquantly noted anonymous, clearly states a hotel is on the premises.

A litany of complaints that this building is being employed as a hotel. Follows is my personal favorite.

I want to personally commend the aforementioned complainant’s civility. Had someone entered my apartment I’d probably take our household Louisville slugger and discharge my own “Special Enforcement”.* The call to 311 (or 911 for that matter) would follow. But I digress.

808 Driggs Avenue’s Certificate of Occupancy makes it pretty clear that while it is technically a “mixed use” building it is, in fact, residential.

This begs many questions. Among them:

  1. How do the folks who are outlaying $2,500+ a month in rent at this “hotal” feel about this?
  2. Who would want to rent a room at a “hotel” whose “Welcome” sign is an inkjet print on a piece of office paper affixed with tape? To stucco?
  3. How can the Department of Buildings overlook his web site— which features one “vacation rental” which seems to be located in a rent-stabilized building?

The “Swiss Chalet on South 4 Street” is (in my humble opinion) a real pisser. As is this** which can be found on Toshi’s Flickr page.

Check it out!

Miss Heather

*Not that I advise this. I am for all intents and purposes a law abiding individual. I abhor violence. I do not, however, take kindly to people trying to gain entrance to my apartment for nefarious reasons. I write this as someone who once had a dude walk into our foyer at midnight – 1:00 in the morning one weekend while the Mister and I were watching movies in our living room. We forgot to lock the front door to our apartment. The chap in question was not a resident of our building. My shouting at the top of my lungs:


was a sufficient deterrent. He scrammed and we have been damned vigilant about locking down our apartment ever since. Had this chap persisted, well…

**For some serious Toshi partying down click here. CAVEAT: NSFW.

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