"The residents of the Chelsea Hotel may still return to their mold-infested, dust-filled rooms this evening, but it will be with the glow of victory.
After failing to get the historic hotel’s new owner Joseph Chetrit to negotiate an agreement to repair the decaying building’s moldering walls, asbestos-filled airshafts and crumbling plaster, the tenants took the sidewalk yesterday in front of their building yesterday, along with a phalanx of politicians, to declare that they were ready to take the matter to a housing court trial.
The Chelsea Hotel Tenants Association, which filed a lawsuit against the Chetrit group to force the group to rectify unsafe conditions in the building last December, finally got its agreement today in housing court, said tenant attorney Janet Ray Kalson.
'It’s done!' announced a jubilant Ms. Kalson Monday afternoon. 'The main thing was that they needed to be put under order. Now there’s a very detailed time for repairs to the building. We’re very pleased.'
The agreement is very similar to “final” one that tenants and the Chetrit group negotiated last month, Ms. Kalson said, with only a few minor changes. The landlords’ decision to renege on that deal at the last moment, insisting on yet more changes, is what prompted residents’ to seek alternative avenues to improve their living situation, she said.
But given the many promises of improved conditions that the Chetrit group has broken over its brief time as owner, did Ms. Kalson think a court order would finally do the trick?
'We shall see… to be continued,' she said.”
…and the battle continues on, but with support from all sides…
: apartment decorated on the 10th floor, with photos of Corey Johnson and Christine Quinn to commemorate the press conference Sunday. photo courtesy of Hotel historian Sherill Tippins
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