On February 22nd, an article appeared in DNAinfo about noise complaints from neighborhood residents about the Gramercy Park Hotel.
Since 2003, when Ian Schrager and Aby Rosen purchased the lease to the hotel, it has been a source of ongoing quality of life problems to area residents. Over the years, The Gramercy Park Block Association has worked tirelessly to address these issues, often with little cooperation from the hotel management.
We recently highlighted an interview with hotelier Andre Balazs from a January 30th article in the Wall Street Journal. Balazs speaks about The Standard, East Village, which he is reconfiguring to be the "center of the community" and "not a nuisance to its neighbors" (excerpted below).
WSJ: You said the previous owners "miscalculated." What do you consider their biggest mistakes?
Balazs: The way it was developed and built was completely misconceived in terms of its use as a public space and in terms of its relation to the neighborhood. It's a very residential community and they managed to make a design that pissed off the neighbors immediately. That's a mistake. That's not what we're going to be about.
We're going to reorient in a different direction. By mid-fall it'll be open differently, with an emphasis on public spaces. Good hotels are a center of their community, and you can't be the center of a community if the person next door to you can't sleep.
A February 22nd article in the Huffington Post compares Balazs' philosophy at The Standard to the Gramercy Park Hotel, which recently came under fire from neighborhood residents complaining about "excessive noise and hoards of partiers." In contrast to the GPH, "Balazs was quick to begin his peace campaign and reassure residents that the space would not be yet another raucous party magnet."
Our main point is that the philosophy of Andre Balazs "embracing the community" at The Standard could not be more different than that of the GPH in recent years.
It is our hope that one day the community can have a more positive relationship with the Gramercy Park Hotel where quality of life concerns of their neighbors can be addressed in a productive manner.