Hotel 17 at 225 East 17th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
City says SRO building is running illegal hotel, but owner, fighting closure, says business is legit
By Sabina Mollot
Hotel 17, a budget hotel located in Stuyvesant Square, has stopped taking reservations and has been cleared of guests.
According to the general property manager of the business, Eyal Siri, this is not due to lack of business but due to the city’s crackdown on illegal hotels, which Siri said he’s been unfairly ensnared in.
Siri, whose family has leased and operated the hotel since the 1970s, admitted the business was never actually certified as a hotel, even though it has served that purpose openly for decades. According to the certificate of occupancy from 1943, it’s a Class A multi-dwelling/single room occupancy/old law tenement. In recent years, the city has had a task force investigate illegal hotels, which are usually residential buildings where rooms or apartments have been rented to people for under 30 days.
As of Monday, on the hotel’s website, a notice on the home page indicates the business is closed.