Overnight residents at the Nu Hotel on Smith Street are dealing with two unwanted guests: bus exhaust and unwanted guests.
That’s because a B61, B65 and B75 bus stop that had been relocated during construction of the boutique hotel was suddenly re-transplanted right in front of the lodge’s front door on the block between Atlantic Avenue and State Street.
“Why not keep it where it was?” asked Nu Hotel General Manager Bertrand Nelson, who not only deals with exhaust from buses, but also a procession of transit riders coming into his lobby to use the always-spotless bathrooms.
“People waiting for the bus come into our vestibule when it gets cold, and we can’t have that,” he said.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Joe Chan lobbied the transit agency on the Nu Hotel’s behalf, claiming that his office was never told that the bus stop would move back to the hotel site.
“It’s a weird place for a bus stop,” Chan told The Brooklyn Paper at the Nu Hotel’s opening party last month. “For a guest’s first experience [to be] inhaling a bunch of bus fumes — it’s less than an ideal way for them to experience a morning in Downtown Brooklyn.”
Chan’s lobbying effort was rejected by New York City Transit, which said it prefers the Nu Hotel bus stop because it’s long enough to “easily accommodate two buses” and allows commuters to make an easy transfer to Atlantic Avenue buses.
Nelson, for his part, tries to remain optimistic.
Indeed, despite the buses, business at the new hotel is booming thanks to our devalued dollar — and our cheaper borough.
“Manhattan is so expensive that tourists come to Brooklyn, so the main thing my team has done is to make sure they know that this place is a destination,” he said.
That includes, of course, distracting guests from the bus fumes and instead pointing out that “Gossip Girl” are filming down the street.
And whenever guests notice perps being shuffled in and out of the Brooklyn House of Detention across the street, Nelson admits to a little poetic license.
“I tell them it’s an episode of ‘Law and Order,’” he said, flashing that mega-watt smile.