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West 30th Street Residents Fuming Over Noisy Rooftop Parties

By DNAinfo Staff on June 15, 2011 1:28pm

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — West 30th Street residents once complained about noisy patrons streaming out of Rebel nightclub in the early morning hours.

But that racket is nothing compared to the blare coming from a new rooftop event space in the same building, which they say is making their lives miserable.

"It's horrendous," said Richard Schwartz, 59, who lives across the street from 251 W. 30th Street, near Eighth Avenue, where the Top of the Garden events space and terrace now sits on the 16th floor.

Schwartz said that sleeping is near-impossible for anyone who lives on the north side of the building when parties are being held, typically on summer weekend nights.

"The noise from that is deafening," another resident in the same building complained at a meeting of Midtown's Community Board 5 last week.

They said that police were called twice to the building the Saturday before last because of the noise.

Ashley Jurgensen, who runs the new event space, agreed noise at the event that night got out of hand.

She said she will make several changes in the future, including limiting speakers' output and shutting down the rooftop at midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. on weekdays to help cut down on noise.

"I want everyone to be able to get along," she said Wednesday.

But building owner Andy Justin was less sympathetic to the residents' complaints and said that anyone living across the street needs to accept the fact that they're living in the heart of Midtown, and that noise will always be a part of life.

"They have to be aware they don't get the same peace and harmony you would in Greenwich Village," Justin said, adding that the businesses have been around longer than the residents, and that his neighbors knew what they were getting into before they moved in.

"This is New York City," he said. "It is what it is."

But residents say that even on a mixed-use, commercial block, they should have rights.

"I don't think it's fair," said Barbara, a resident of the 12th floor of 252 W. 30th St. who asked that her last name be withheld and has made recordings of the noise in her apartment.

"I feel like I have the right to live there," said Barbara.

"You can't live if you can't sleep," added Schwartz.

Meanwhile, Rebel owner Ray Montgomery said he's also taking additional steps in light of residents' complaints about rowdy patrons, which he said he was first made aware of at a Midtown South precinct community council meeting last month.

In addition to reminding patrons to be quiet as they leave, he said the club has been positioning extra security guards on the opposite side of the block to help usher them along.

"I do the best I can to keep it community-friendly," he said.