Merchant’s House Hotel Reps Have Criminal Past

Posted on: June 8th, 2012 at 6:28 am by

Neighborhood preservationists and advocates of the Merchant’s House Museum have a new arrow in the quiver of opposition toward the proposed nine-story hotel next door. A structure that would likely disable the vulnerable treasure at 27 East 4th Street. Apparently two representatives of the controversial project – Edward Carroll and Constantine Fotos – served time in the past for federal crimes. The Villager has the scoop in this week’s issue of the paper.

This image has been archived or removed.

Carroll was convicted for obstructing justice and “misleading a grand jury in 2002 during a federal corruption case against a business associate involved in elevator contracts for the M.T.A. headquarters.” He served five months in prison, in addition to two years of supervised release and five months of home confinement.

This image has been archived or removed.

His partner in the hotel project, Fotos, pleaded guilty to illegally removing asbestos from the construction site at 13-25 Astor Place back in 2005. If that wasn’t enough, he was also found guilty of misleading a federal OSHA investigation into the incident. Punishment for both crimes included one year in jail and two years of supervised release.

A Landmarks hearing on the project, which had been scheduled for June 5, was laid over until Tues., June 19. The L.P.C. does not enquire into the criminal record of applicants. In addition to L.P.C. approval, the hotel project would also require a zoning variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals, a process that could take a year or longer.

The Community Board 2 Landmarks Committee held a hearing on the project on April 30 at which Fotos and Carroll made a presentation and nobody appeared in opposition. The committee voted approval, but a day or two later, preservation advocates, along with Gardener and Nick Nicholson, chairperson of The Merchant’s House Museum board of trustees, protested they hadn’t known about the meeting.

Should these onetime criminals be allowed to construct such a damaging building on the Lower East Side?

[via The Villager]

Recent Stories

DOT Announces More ‘Asphalt Art’ for Chinatown Seasonal Streets

For the second year running, Doyers Street is the recipient of the alliterative Asphalt Art. The Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program (DOT Art) is again joining forces with the Chinatown Partnership to paint the former “Bloody Angle.” Hangzhou artist Chen Dongfan was the first to paint the area last July, imparting a 4,851 square-foot mural […]

Cactus Store Returns Saturday for Third Season on Essex Street

Unless (or until) development takes hold at 5 Essex Street, the annual cactus retail setup will continue. For the third year running, the Los Angeles-based Cactus Store is set to return this season. Ownership confirmed the plans, and relayed an opening date of this Saturday (May 25). All the infrastructure is still in place, including […]

Essex Market Vendor ‘Rainbo’s Fish Market’ Retires After More than 40 Years

With all the fanfare the last couple weeks for the new Essex Street Market, it was pretty easy to miss the loss of two longtime vendors. At the end of April, shortly before the move across Delancey to Essex Crossing, the decades-old Rainbo’s fish market and sister vendor Tra La La Juice Bar both called […]

Aging Cooling System Blamed for Reduced Services at Hamilton Fish Park Library this Summer

With summer fast approaching, the NYPL’s Hamilton Fish Park branch staff is taking steps to ensure they don’t find themselves in a Fahrenheit 451 situation. Due to an aging cooling system, the library is reducing its services, as well as downsizing its footprint for the summer. A few portable air conditioning units will cool a […]

CC’s Cafe Space on Monroe Street Hits the Market

CC’s Cafe on Monroe Street might not last. Rumors of its demise – aka the owner wanting to surrender – have appeared over the last couple years. But now it appears more likely. This retail listing on Craigslist for the 700 square-foot restaurant space went live several days ago. Asking rent is $6,500 per month. According […]