Chateau Hotel Tenants Told to Leave by March

By Serena Dai on February 5, 2013 6:54am 

 Chateau Hotel residents were served with 30-day lease-termination notices at the troubled SRO.
Chateau Hotel residents were served with 30-day lease-termination notices at the troubled SRO.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

LAKEVIEW — Bon voyage.

New management of the troubled Chateau Hotel wants residents out as early as March, according to letters sent to tenants of one of the last independent housing options in Lakeview.

The still-unnamed new owners of the hotel, at 3838 N. Broadway Ave., sent notices terminating 30-day leases last Thursday, according to a picture of the notice provided by advocacy group Lakeview Action Coalition. The notice says month-to-month residents must surrender rights to the rooms by the end of the month. 

While area residents and businesses have long complained about fighting, drug dealing and panhandling outside the Chateau, the hotel's residents see it as their only housing option.

Many neighborhood SROs (single-room occupancy) have been converted into both mental-health housing and market-rate housing in the past year, and Lakeview Action Coalition will be protesting the losses this Sunday.

"SRO housing provides an invaluable safety net to thousands in Chicago, and we cannot afford to lose 700 in Lakeview alone," LAC's president Erin Ryan said in a statement.

Last week, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) showed up at housing court with the new owner's lawyer, Mitchell Asher, who told the court the hotel would be gutted and renovated. Cappleman has championed changes at the hotel, which he said exhibited some of the worst living conditions he's ever seen.

"Its is appalling," he has said. "It is not safe."

Many Chateau residents showed up at court to voice their concerns but left with little information regarding the timeline of their departure. About 100 people currently live in the buliding, they said, but It is unclear how many of them hold 30-day leases.

Cappleman told frustrated attendees that they would be interviewed by city social services to assess whether they qualify for other affordable housing options. The new owners have stayed mum on whether residents will be allowed to move back once the building is renovated. 

 Residents with 30-day leases received notice last Thursday, Jan. 31, that their leases would not be extended. 
Residents with 30-day leases received notice last Thursday, Jan. 31, that their leases would not be extended. 
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Lakeview Action Coalition

A call to lawyer Mitchell Asher was not immediately returned. 

On Wednesday, Lakeview Pantry, a food bank across the street from the hotel, will be hosting a lawyer from Uptown People's Law Center and a housing advocate from Metropolitan Tenants Association to explain to residents what their rights are.

Receiving the notices did provide some relief for residents, as now outside organizations have a timeline to help residents, said Sreya Sarkar, director of education and advocacy for Lakeview Pantry.

"This is better than getting no notice at all," she said. 

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