Volume 75, Number 8 | July 13- 20, 2005

Hotel Gansevoort claims noise problem has finally been cured

By Albert Amateau

The dull roar coming from the Hotel Gansevoort that pervaded the Gansevoort Market District faded away last week, according to many of the West Village residents who had been complaining about it since last year.

The relief from the low-level but penetrating noise came on July 1 after the hotel management completed the installation of a duct from the ground floor to the roof of the 13-story hotel.

“I think they’ve corked it,” said Joe Butler, a Horatio St. resident for 27 years who was among a group of 40 residents who had complained about the noise to Hotel Gansevoort management at a meeting in March.

James McGuane, another Horatio St. resident, also welcomed the relief, but he noted that the silence was not quite golden. Another noise source, the construction of a shaft to the city’s Third Water Tunnel at Seravalli Playground on Hudson between Gansevoort and Horatio Sts. began plaguing the neighborhood in the spring. However, construction, expected to be completed in about two years, is now all below street level.

Myron Miller, also a Horatio St. resident who complained about the pervasive roar from the hotel, said last week that there was a welcome change. “It seems to me there’s a big reduction in the noise,” Miller said. While Nancy Blanford, a Greenwich St. resident, said last week that she still heard the noise, a neighbor, Michael Bloomberg (no relation to the mayor) said he no longer had a problem with it.

“We’re quite relieved ourselves,” said Michael Lindenbaum, director of public relations and special events for Hotel Gansevoort. “The exhaust noise is almost eliminated,” he said.

The hotel tried reducing the number of fan blades in the exhaust of the ground-floor restaurant at first and then eliminated part of the baffle at the ground-level vent, all to no avail, Lindenbaum said last week. “We had to take our cues from the engineers who were treading unknown territory,” he recalled. “We told them to find a solution as soon as possible because our neighbors were losing patience.”

Nevertheless, the hotel’s e-mail postings to neighbors on the progress of the noise abatement convinced many of them that the efforts were real.

The hotel spent “tens of thousands of dollars” on the problem, Lindenbaum added. The 187-room hotel with two restaurants, one on the ground floor and another at the penthouse level, opened in 2003 and relations with neighbors were rocky from the beginning.

Last March, the State Liquor Authority denied the hotel’s application for a second cash bar for the rooftop restaurant after elected officials and neighbors testified about loud music, noisy parties and rowdy patrons. It was clear to many neighbors that the testimony was partly driven by feelings that their complaints had been ignored.

“Our standing in the neighborhood has gone up tenfold since then,” Lindenbaum said last week.

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