A longtime nuisance on a long-suffering block is going on the block, quite literally.
Councilmember Vincent Gentile announced on Thursday, March 24 that the Prince Hotel – an alleged hotbed of drugs, prostitution and violence in the neighborhood – will be auctioned off by the Sheriff’s Office in early June.
The public auction process – a sale which happens when either a court of law or government agency take control of a property – is open to any and all bidders.
“I think I speak for the entire community by saying how pleased I am that the sale process for the Prince Hotel is moving forward,” said Gentile, who has long advocated for its closure. “The Prince has been an albatross around the neck of the area’s quality of life for far too long so nobody will be sorry to see it go.”
According to Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, the building’s owner, Moses Fried, had accumulated a whopping $400,000 in fines for violations on his property – located at 315 93rd Street – dating back as far as 1995.
As of February, out of the 71 active Department of Buildings (DOB) violations on file for the building, 23 of them were for construction and work without permit violations. The property had also amassed 60 Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations, 50 of which are Failure to Comply orders – with the most recent violations issued in September of 2015.
Specific violations include several missing Certificates of Occupancy; Work without Permits while installing fire alarms, gas lines and plumbing; failure to maintain building codes for electrical lines and sprinklers; and illegal use as a transient hotel in a residential district.
The Sheriff’s Office descended upon the hotel on Wednesday, February 17 – less than 24 hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio promised “aggressive enforcement” against the institution at a Bay Ridge town hall meeting.
Since then, officials have been stationed at the front desk to collect any earnings the Prince might make.
The public auction of the Prince Hotel is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8 at 1 p.m. at the King’s County Sherriff’s Office (210 Joralemon Street, Room 909).