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Boutique Hotel Conversions Running into Hobo Troubles

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For the city's hip hoteliers, buying a decrepit but historic single-room occupancy building is an easy target for expanding a burgeoning empire. Just toss out the bums, restore the hotel to its earlier grandeur, add some trendy restaurants, jack up rates and?voila!?a new trophy for the portfolio. It's a simple plan, but two recent cases are proving to be anything but simple. Last week, the Observer reported that the Hotel Riverview?the rundown Jane Street spot that houses nightspot Socialista and was recently purchased by Bowery Hotel/Maritime Hotel honchos Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson?is tangled in a mess of illegal renovations and clingy tenants. This week, it's a similar theme, only the topic is the Hotel Breslin on Broadway and 29th Street (right), awaiting its conversion to the supercool Ace Hotel complete with hipster barber shop, hipster coffee shop and a restaurant from the Spotted Pig guy. The Ace hopes to open next December (even though the rooms don't have private bathrooms yet), but tenants have just filed a lawsuit alleging "veiled threats" and "interruption of essential services" as part of a campaign of harassment to oust the rent-regulated residents. The hotel is currently trying to buy tenants out, and it's easy to see why: The lease on this future mint is a crazy-low $50k/month through 2029.
· Dear Tenants, Please Leave. Love, Hotel Breslin [NYO]
· Endgame for Old New York at the Hotel Riverview [NYO]
· Crappy Part of Broadway Will Suffer Hipster Invasion [Curbed]