Volume 74, Number 47 | March 30 - April 05, 2005


Hotel Gansevoort reserves roof for meeting on noise

By Albert Amateau

In the wake of persistent complaints about noise from parties on a rooftop bar and the roar from the ventilation system of a ground-floor restaurant, the management of the Hotel Gansevoort said on Tuesday that it would meet next week with neighbors to discuss ways to resolve the problems.

Elon Kenchington, manager of the 13-story hotel that opened a year ago on the edge of the Gansevoort Market Historic District, told City Councilmember Christine Quinn that he would meet with neighbors from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Wed., April 6, at the hotel on Ninth Ave. between 13th and Gansevoort Sts. The meeting will be on the hotel’s rooftop.

Quinn said she hoped the meeting would open further cooperation between the hotel and the neighborhood.

“My office has received a number of complaints stemming from the Hotel Gansevoort’s ongoing ventilation and rooftop bar noise,” Quinn said. “I understand that management has taken a number of steps to address these concerns and will host a meeting to share these with the community. I hope an open dialogue with neighborhood residents will lead to further cooperation on the hotel’s part,” she added.

Kenchington told The Villager that he intends to show the community that the hotel wants to be part of the neighborhood and will continue to contribute to the district. He noted that the hotel recently enhanced the Gansevoort Market’s ambiance by restoring cobblestones in the street in front of the building.

State Senator Tom Duane and Assemblymember Deborah Glick also welcomed the April 6 meeting, which was scheduled after the State Liquor Authority’s denial of the hotel’s application for a new liquor license for a second bar in an enclosed area of the roof with 55 tables and seating for 165 patrons. The restaurant on the ground floor, Ono, also has a liquor license but is under different management from the hotel, Kenchington said.

Elected officials and Gansevoort Market district advocates hailed the S.L.A. denial of the hotel’s application for the alteration of its rooftop license. Jo Hamilton, a member of Community Board 2 and co-chairperson of Save Gansevoort Market, a preservation group, said the denial was an unusual move for the agency.

At the S.L.A. hearing last month on the license alteration, Quinn said, “My office has been flooded with complaints regarding this establishment and its negative impact on the neighborhood stemming from the two liquor licenses it already holds.”

Loud music, poor management, noisy parties on the roof and rowdy patrons on the sidewalks in front of the 187-room hotel were some of the complaints that Quinn related to the S.L.A. She also feared that a new license would bring more people to an already crowded venue.

However, Kenchington told The Villager this week that the application for the second rooftop bar was to relieve the crush at the original bar, not to bring in more patrons. “We just wanted to serve people better,” he said.

Glick, however, recalled that when the hotel first proposed a rooftop bar and restaurant, “they promised Community Board 2 that they would restrict the hours that the bar was open and not play music, and as both of those promises were broken and noise was already a problem for neighbors, I presented testimony urging the S.L.A. to deny the application to expand their license.”

Community Board 2 had voted unanimously against recommending the license alteration.

Noise from the ventilation system of Ono, the ground-floor restaurant at the hotel, has persisted despite an Environmental Control Board judgment against the restaurant in February.

“There’s a constant roar from the hotel,” said Effie Miller, a resident of Horatio St., at the Thurs., March 24, Community Board 2 meeting. Miller noted that she lives more than a block away from the hotel. Andrew Block, Quinn’s chief of staff, reminded the board that the restaurant had approximately 75 days to cure the noise problem before having additional fines imposed.

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