LOWER EAST SIDE — As hotelier Ian Schrager’s 28-story Public Hotel rises at 215 Chrystie St., concerned neighbors continue to grapple for community benefits after swinging a deal with the landowner ensuring the affordability of their homes in exchange for backing the project.
Community Board 3’s State Liquor Authority subcommittee on Monday voted unanimously to recommend Schrager’s liquor license application with a handful of conditions aiming to cut down on noise rising from the 376-key hotel’s many booze-slinging venues — but those directly facing the development remain fearful of the impact the development will have on their quality of life.
“It is going to affect us,” said Alysha Lewis-Coleman of the 10 Stanton Tenants Association. “It’s not just the noise, but the amount of people coming and going at any given time — there will be numerous people who will be club-goers and partygoers.”
The tenants of 10 Stanton St. in 2012 gave in to the landlord’s pitch to recruit a developer who would erect a tower at the next-door site after brokering a deal to keep the building’s Section 8 status — slated to expire within the next three years — another two decades, Bowery Boogie reported at the time.
The tenants fought long and hard for the deal, said Lewis-Coleman — but the allowance does not make up for the high volumes of hotel guests and partygoers and the noise pollution they may bring, leaving the low-income neighbors once again pushing for whatever compromises they can glean from the meetings with developers.
“It’s always going to be the haves versus the have-nots,” she said. “It’s very sad that’s what my community has turned into.”
The SLA committee gave its conditional blessing for the liquor license after drilling the developer, architect, traffic researchers, and Schrager himself for nearly four hours on each of the 11 alcohol-friendly venues that will be spread across the massive development — including two outdoor garden spaces, a lobby bar, a restaurant and food market, a banquet hall, and a theater space, outlined in detail on Bowery Boogie — taking care to highlight which rooms could anticipate dancing and DJ’s.
Ultimately, members approved all interior spaces as presented, but recommended the outdoor spaces, one of which is glass-enclosed, shut down at 10 p.m. When asked whether Schrager would comply with the request, a lawyer for the hotelier did not comment.
Schrager’s reps assured community members their sound-proofing methods would lock in any loud noise, but still agreed to meet with neighbors to test out the methods once installed in addition to quarterly meetings with tenants during the first year of the hotel’s operation to gather feedback.
As for concerns about high volumes of guests pouring into the street, reps assured community members they were conducting traffic studies around peak times to best plan how to accommodate the crowds.
Though Schrager himself frequently interjected during the committee’s inquiries and ultimately left halfway through, a lawyer for the developer said Schrager’s company was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.
“I can say that the CB committee recognized, in unanimously recommending approval of the hotel liquor license, that the new Ian Schrager hotel serves the public interest and is a welcome addition to the community,” said Donald Bernstein.
The full board will vote on the recommendations at the April 26 meeting.
Ultimately, the SLA will decide whether the hotel gets a liquor license, and may or may not take into account the board's recommendations.