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Stalled Lower East Side Hotel Being Resurrected as Rentals

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The Hotel Ludlow, the 170-room luxury boutique inn that promised to "pay homage to its chic, authentic neighbors with modern and minimalist decor," has been the Hotel Ludlow, the stalled 19-story eyesore, for many moons. In fact, the 180 Ludlow Street concrete shell has been one of the most visible symbols of the city's wave of arrested development. But how about this for a blockbuster: The Hotel Ludlow is coming back! As rentals! LES blog The Lo-Down got the scoop at last night's Community Board 3 subcommittee meeting, where lawyers for developer Serge Hoyda outlined the plan to convert the building to residential.

With the super-expensive rental tower The Ludlow located right next door, the Artist Formerly Known as Hotel Ludlow will be aiming for something more downmarket: 158 units, mostly studios and all rent stabilized, starting around $1,200-$1,300 per month. A rep said, "This is not a luxury building. This is a market-rate, no frills building. It's not obscene and it's not affordable. It's somewhere in the middle."

Hoyda needs a zoning variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals, and a positive vote from the local community board would help his cause. The subcommittee "reluctantly signaled its support for the conversion," The Lo-Down reports, indicating that the full board will probably give the plan the nod when it votes next week. One major sticking point is the affordable housing, or lack thereof. Hoyda's lawyer said, "We are here right now because we cannot continue as a hotel. We cannot find a bank that will finance (a residential building) with an affordability component." But as an "act of good faith," the developer will donate five apartments to meet affordable housing conditions. Non-shocker: That got a lot of folks riled up.

As for the building itself, the community board resolution also includes other concessions, such as a stipulation that no bar or restaurant selling liquor be allowed in the retail space, and a meeting room must be made available for community events. Sounds a bit less glamorous than the hotel's original description of "a signature restaurant, a basement spa, a fitness center, a business center, a sun deck and an exclusive rooftop lounge." But zombies only thirst for brains, not mojitos, so that's not really an issue.
· Developer Seeks to Convert Stalled Hotel Project into Rental Building [The Lo-Down]
· Hotel Ludlow coverage [Curbed]

Hotel Ludlow

180 Ludlow Street, New York, NY