Bogus hotels in Village and Soho

By Brooke Edwards

Based on residents’ complaints, Housing Conservation Coordinators, a tenant-advocacy group, has compiled a list of 94 suspected illegal hotels scattered throughout Manhattan. Ten of these are in the Village and Soho areas alone, and four of them belong to Signature Properties NY.

Complaints have been registered for Signature Properties’ “Suites” at 9 Minetta St., at 55 Morton St. and at 118 Spring St.

But Signature’s most notorious suspect is at 160 Bleecker St. Complaints were made to the Buildings Department as early as 2004 that rooms there were being rented on a nightly basis. The property now has 13 active complaints on file for everything from illegal conversion of apartments into hotel units to maid carts blocking exits.

The Villager called Signature Suites Tuesday afternoon and asked if any rooms were available at their Bleecker St. location for the weekend. A reservationist agreed to rent a studio apartment for Friday and Saturday at a rate of $169 per night.

Another property under investigation is The Chelsmore at 205 W. 15th St. D.O.B. has one active complaint on file for this location for operating as a hotel. A Web site for the property advertises nightly rates of $120, though it states that a six-night minimum is required.