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Gansevoort Park Hotel Yanks Bid to Add More Party Promoters Amid Criticism

By Alan Neuhauser | December 2, 2013 7:28am
 Long-simmering frustration with one of Manhattan's most popular party destinations threatened to boil over in late November 2013, as a Gansevoort Park Hotel representative was castigated by Community Board 5's public safety and quality-of-life committee for its "absolutely horrendous track record."
Public Safety Committee Tears Into Gansevoort Park Hotel
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MIDTOWN — The Gansevoort Park Hotel, whose rowdy bars and rooftop pool parties have long drawn the ire of neighbors and community leaders, withdrew an application to bring in additional party promoters in the face of heated opposition last week.

A hotel representative asked Community Board 5's Public Safety and Quality-of-Life Committee for permission to work with two additional event promoters.

But after the committee rejected two other applications from the hotel — one to convert a service bar to a cash bar and another to turn an outdoor lounge in the building's courtyard into a bar — hotel food and beverage director Lana Trevisan yanked the third request.

"In the spirit of what's going on, I'll take this one off the table," Trevisan said at a recent community meeting. "Everyone wants to give us a hard time, but we're really trying."

Committee members were largely unmoved, pounding the hotel's "absolutely horrendous track record" addressing problems with noise, litter, fights and traffic congestion,

"You can try really hard," boardmember Christian Pappanicholas said, "[but] at the end of the day, you need results."

"We can't give another inch on this if you're not able to get people to not act like barnyard animals," added committee member Renee Cafaro.

The faceoff between the Gansevoort Park and CB5 is the latest in a long history of hostilities between Midtown residents and the hotel, which became a flashpoint for complaints after opening in 2010 and unveiling an indoor/outdoor rooftop pool in 2012.

The city's 311 service request map shows more than 10 complaints in the past year for "party noise" and "loud talking" at the intersection of Park Avenue and East 29th Street, where the Gansevoort Park is located.

CB5 committee member Clayton Smith castigated Trevisan at the meeting, adding that the hotel's disregard for its neighbors amounted to "abuse."

"There's clearly a systemic problem," he said.

"I haven't had a decent night's sleep in months on a Friday or Saturday night," said Judy Olsen, who lives on East 29th Street near Park Avenue and is a member of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association.

The Gansevoort Park offered to push up the closing time for its courtyard restaurant from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m., in order to shift the focus of the venue from late-night dinner parties to "an after-work crowd." 

Neighbors who live just above the courtyard, however, urged committee members to reject the change, so as not to give the hotel any sort of "award," even if it meant quieter evenings.

The committee agreed, denying the application with just two dissenting votes.

The committee also discussed whether to ask the SLA to strip the hotel of the courtyard's liquor license — one of five the venue has been granted. But members decided against the move, saying that if the courtyard bar and restaurant were to shut down, the space could become a smoking area with fewer restrictions on noise and closing times.

"It's incumbent on them to make this work," committee vice chairman Asa Somers said, "We don't change it to give them more leeway."