A coup is brewing! City will force Prince Hotel’s sale, pol says

Siege tactics! City raids Ridge flophouse’s register, garnishes income
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

They want to depose this royal pain.

The city will make the Prince Hotel’s owner sell the Bay Ridge flop house to pay $400,000 in building fines he has racked up over the last decade, a local pol said. Sheriffs have posted up there since Wednesday night, when they raided the register and pledged to seize future income. The forced sale could take half a year, but that’s faster than skimming the till, according to an area councilman.

“If you just sit at the desk, you’d be there for 60 years,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge). “And given the history of this place, it’s just another incentive to go do it.”

Owner Moses Fried has $400,000 in unpaid fines for a litany of buildings and safety violations, officials said. Neighbors say the hotel is a hotbed of drug use and prostitution. The community board’s district manager has a binder full of complaints and letters about the hotel that is literally the size of a phone book.

Mayor DeBlasio, who is proposing a pre-K just doors from the hotel, apologized during a town hall at Fort Hamilton High School last week for not taking action sooner and promised results. Sheriffs raided the 93rd Street boardinghouse a day after the mayoral mea culpa.

They seized roughly $7,000 in the raid and the days since, Gentile said.

Prince Hotel owner Moses Fried could ask a judge to block the ongoing seizure, but his lawyers have yet to file, the councilman said.

The Department of Finance is drawing up papers to force the sale, Gentile said.

Community Board 10 members have been advocating enforcement against the Prince for years, and they’re ready to help the city any way they can — but they remain cautious, the group’s leader said.

“We’re going to continue as if nothing happened, because I think that’s the only way we can be sure that we will get the final result — the place is run properly or it changes,” said board chairman Brian Kieran.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Prince printouts: Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann has a massive binder of complaints and city correspondences about the Prince Hotel. She put together the tome working for more than five years to get the place to clean up its act or close its doors, she said.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto