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Owner Hoping to Take Illegal Apartments Condo?

The residents of Ace Hotel neighbor 1182 Broadway were evacuated from the building in March, after a Buildings Department investigation found that the property had been illegally converted into residential apartments. (Forget about that incident? The tenants got a helpful reminder.) Owner Mocal Enterprises was slapped with violations for failing to put in fire sprinklers, a secondary exit, or more than one stairwell. Did the Mocal team take the DOB smackdown to heart? In a way, perhaps. They've filed a land use application with the city for legal residential conversion of the sixth through 16th floors and the penthouse, an application the City Planning Commission considered at a public hearing yesterday. But the residential use request is just the first step: we hear that the building owner has his eye on a possible condo conversion of the property.
Of course, the building's former occupants aren't exactly on board with the plan and would like their apartments back, please. And there was one other opposing speaker at the City Planning public hearing, a member of Community Board 5. CB 5's argument against the project is the slightly odd claim that it would mean a loss of class B office space in the neighborhood. Not to mention that a condo conversion would result in the building's landlord walking away with a nice profit after renting out illegal apartments, getting caught, and evicting the tenants. (That's assuming WhoDi's Curbed Cup defeat doesn't correspond to property values.) City Planning will vote on the land use application in January.
· 1182 Broadway coverage [Curbed]