Judge Tosses Lawsuit Opposing Blue Moon Homeless Shelter on Orchard Street

Posted on: February 11th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

The Blue Moon Hotel will become a temporary homeless shelter, as a community-based lawsuit opposing the action was overruled.

In January, three nearby landlords, two residents, and a restaurant collectively filed suit to block the transformation of the Orchard Street hotel to help ease pandemic-related overcrowding at city shelters.

However, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo ruled this week that the group of Lower East Side residents and businesses didn’t have legal standing to challenge the city’s contract for the shelter. Namely, because they didn’t bid on it and couldn’t prove negative impacts as members of the general public — a necessary legal requirement.

Further, the stated “claims of harm are entirely speculative” Nervo’s decision read.

The Lower East Siders challenged the Blue Moon shelter, claiming that the tight living situation in the 22-unit building – it is a tenement, after all – could cause an outbreak of COVID-19. The suit also claimed that the city aimed to bypass the normal review process under special pandemic rules by saying it would be a temporary shelter with a six-month term — yet the lease stipulates a monthly renewal option for up to nine years. The claimants alleged that the city really planned to extend the use of the shelter permanently.

Nevertheless, the Orchard Street shelter is planned for a February 15 open.

“As hoped and as expected, the court has affirmed our need to provide vital services and supports to our unsheltered neighbors, especially during this emergency period, and we look forward to welcoming New Yorkers in need to this high-quality site, where we’ll build on our progress helping nearly 4,000 unsheltered individuals come off the streets and get back on their feet,” a spokesperson with the Department of Homeless Services told the New York Post.

Recent Stories

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]

Former Home of Stanton Social on the LES Hits Market for $5.9M

Stanton Social has been in the grave for nearly four years. Now, its former home is back on the market. The two-story building – located at 99 Stanton Street in Hell Square – carries an asking price of $5.9 million. B6 Real Estate Advisors is listed as the exclusive brokerage for the property, which has […]

DOT to Pave Pock-Marked Pell Street; Sheds Removed

Pell Street is finally on deck for a resurfacing, forcing numerous Chinatown businesses to dismantle their street shed annexes. Those who operate outdoor dining sheds along Pell Street received notice this week from the Department of Transportation to dismantle structure ahead of scheduled street repaving. This small neighborhood street – which once terminated at Division – […]