LOWER EAST SIDE — Residents of a Stanton Street Section 8 housing complex had anticipated the noise and crowds accompanying the rise of a trendy luxury hotel in their backyard — but they say the R-rated reality is far worse than they imagined.
Tenants of 10 Stanton St. say they have been shocked to witness unwanted peep shows when they look out their windows at the back of Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel, claiming that the hotel's guests have been getting frisky in plain sight.
“People are seeing people having sex — they don’t even close their blinds,” said Debbie Gonzalez of the 10 Stanton Tenants Association at a recent association meeting. “There are 44 apartments in that back, and these people are subjected to noise, nudity, smoking — it’s ridiculous.”
The 28-story, 376-key hotel at 215 Chrystie St. opened its doors in June, advertising “luxury for all” with its “refined, sophisticated” yet “flamboyant and provocative” rooms and an assortment of dining and drinking destinations — including a so-called “vibrant and energetic ‘crazy bar’” on the building’s rooftop.
“The other night, two people were doing it,” said Catherine Bruno, 63, who lives in a rear-facing apartment with her 30-year-old son. “If my sons were little, I would be mortified.”
Bruno, who has lived in her apartment for 31 years, said she often opened her windows before the hotel opened — now she keeps the windows latched to block out noise and the curtains drawn to block out the nudity.
The crowd lining up for the rooftop bar, meanwhile, sends noise echoing up the alleyway between the hotel and the subsidized housing complex.
There have been 47 complaints at the hotel's location for loud music, partying and loud talking since its opening date on June 6, according to 311 records.
“It gets really, really, really rowdy,” said Bruno, recalling a night several weeks ago when she was awoken at 1 a.m. to a noisy brawl that had broken out below when she had to be up at 5 a.m. for her teaching job on Long Island.
“That’s becoming normal,” she said.
Hotel reps did not return our requests for comment.
Visitors to the Public Hotel line up down Chrystie Street. (Courtesy of Alysha Lewis-Coleman)
The tenants’ fight to live in peace in the shadow of the Public Hotel began before its construction. When the landowner first pitched the concept years ago, the tenants successfully negotiated a deal to extend their buildings’ Section 8 status another two decades in exchange for their tentative support, according to tenant association reps. But the residents remained fearful of the noisy revelers that would fill the streets surrounding their homes.
The crowds, now out in full force, are worse than the tenants expected — largely because they never anticipated the back alleyway entrance to the rooftop “crazy bar” that falls in front of their windows. That entrance was never disclosed when hotel reps discussed their plans, according to the tenants.
The hotel has put tents over that line to cover the crowd, they say, but the noise persists.
“Every single night, I hear echoes and stuff going on with the music and noises,” said Carlos Rodriguez, a member of the tenant association, at the recent meeting.
“I have two kids, and I do not — I repeat, I do not — want to allow them to put anything [there], because it wasn’t in the plans,” he continued.
In addition to the line snaking through the alleyway, lines form in front of the hotel on Chrystie Street for the building’s two other entrances, often stretching down the block, residents say.
They say their mounting frustration is compounded by other inconveniences, and claim that the hotel staff leaves garbage in the alleyway, attracting rats.
And those residents with cars are still waiting for parking spaces in the alleyway to be returned for their use — the tenant association says they handed over the spaces for commercial use during hotel construction with the understanding they would be returned once construction was complete, though the agreement never specified a timeline for the return.
Now the hotel is up and running and the bars are overflowing, but the tenants are still either hunting for street parking or handing their keys over to an attendant at a space in a garage supplied by hotel management, where an hour's notice must be given before a car is picked up and they risk scratches on their vehicles. Meanwhile, the parking lot is filled with private vehicles, they say.
"It's like a slap in our face when we see other cars filled up in the parking lot and they're not commercial vehicles," said Lewis-Coleman.
The tenants associations says that the hotel reps have previously promised that the spaces will be turned over once the luxury condos, which are listed for over $4 million, are complete atop the hotel. But they haven't given a date for when that will happen.
"They're just taking advantage of us," said Rodriguez.