A Decade Later, Allen Street Hotel Finally has Something to Show for Itself

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

It’s not the crust in your eyes – the Allen Street Hotel is indeed showing itself. The mechanical system of bars and netting recently came down to reveal the glassy new facade.

At first glance, The Allen, as it’s now named, appears to resemble the Pomeranc-designed Sixty (formerly, Thompson LES) just up the block.

As new as it may look, this Hell Square lodge – the sixth hotel north of Delancey Street – is a actually over a decade in the making. Morris Kalimian (of Chelsea’s Hotel Henri) rescued the defunct property. There are reportedly 98 guest rooms, an outdoor courtyard, and multiple food-and-beverage venues across the seventeen floors (including the rooftop).

Community Board 3 initially denied their hotel liquor application back in November, largely due to proximity to the church directly across the street and to windows of neighboring apartments. To obtain liquor privileges on-premise – and to retain the proposed entrance on Allen – ownership sought a legislative carve-out (exemption) from the law that would permit a license within 200 feet of a church. (There are also 50 full liquor licenses within 500 feet.)

The team spent the intervening months trying to score support from locals and CB3 to overturn. For one, Kalimian entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the LES Dwellers block association regarding scope and limiting hours of operation. Yet the application for an exemption received another resounding denial from the SLA subcommittee this past Monday night.

Now, if the entrance is moved to the Orchard Street side, it’ll be subject to the 500-foot rule. The narrow street is already clogged, which is why residents back the Allen entrance. A rare, rock-and-a-hard-place moment where the block association appeared against the community board denial recommendation.

The Allen Street Hotel is one of the last holdovers of the pre-meltdown era that remains incomplete. You’ll recall that the building snuck onto the scene in the eleventh hour before the 2008 zoning took hold, and slyly ascended sixteen stories. Three years later, the now-former owner D.A.B. Group allegedly ceased the necessary mortgage payments, and the property slipped into foreclosure.

Then in 2016, eight years after the first concrete pours, the properties comprising 139-141 Orchard Street sold in auction to real estate tycoon Morris Moinian and Morry Kalimian of Elk Investors. The duo paid $30.75 million for the incomplete development. Moinian is no longer part of the project, though, having left Kalimian as sole developer.

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