City Council Speaker Christine Quinn criticized the Chelsea Hotel’s new owner yesterday for failing to safely remove asbestos and mold during renovations.
The iconic hotel has been closed to guests while construction takes place, but dozens of full-time residents remain. They filed a lawsuit in housing court against new owner Joseph Chetrit in December, after environmental inspectors discovered evidence of hazardous materials onsite.
“Making sure residents have a safe place to call home is the fundamental responsibility of any decent landlord,” Quinn said yesterday.
She and other elected officials, including Rep. Jerry Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, accused Chetrit of “negligence” and claimed that he had not negotiated in good faith with the hotel’s tenants’ association as it pushed for action to remove the mold.
Chetrit could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The city landmark, located on 23rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, was once the home of such musicians as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith and Sid Vicious.
Chetrit began renovations after purchasing the hotel in August 2011, according to tenant attorney Janet Ray Kalson. Kalson said demolition spewed “mold and dust contaminated with silica, lead and asbestos.” She said after four months of negotiation, a final agreement was worked out April 27, but the owners immediately reneged and demanded more changes.