Sunshine Hotel Conversion Plans Revived as Ownership Again Seeks ‘Certificate of No Harassment’
The Sunshine Hotel, one of the last operational flophouses on the Bowery, is again under the microscope regarding proposed conversion work that is years in the making. Further alluded to by that months-old banner draped from the facade advertising an “entire floor” for rent.
Property owner Roseann Carone last month reapplied for a “Certificate of No Harassment” at 241 Bowery. Approval is necessary to complete the long-running plan to convert the upper two floors (combined 8,938 square-feet) of the Sunshine to commercial loft usage. Department of Buildings approved the job in May 2015, according to public records, which includes new partitions, plumbing work, and mechanical exhaust for new bathrooms. Yet, there reportedly hasn’t been much activity since. Before permits are issued and the job can proceed, however, Carone must obtain said certificate stating that there has been no harassment of the building’s lawful occupants from May 8, 2012 to present. (A lone, crinkled printout taped to the exterior provides explanation.)
To that end, ownership will appear before Community Board 3 on Wednesday for consideration. If it goes through, and then Department of House and Preservation Development rubber stamps, the Sunshine could lose one third of its footprint to office space.
Mourning any potential loss of the Sunshine is nothing new, though. Back in 2004, there was talk of combining the last residents into 245 Bowery and redeveloping the other two buildings. That didn’t happen. Neither did the proposal four years later, which sought to demolish the three buildings for a payload of condos. Citing a history of tenant harassment inside the SRO at 241 Bowery, the HPD at the time rejected Carone’s bid for the Certificate of no Harassment to move forward with said plans.
The Sunshine Hotel is more than ninety-years-old, and occupies contiguous space across the three buildings comprising 241-245 Bowery. The original building is flanked by the “Lakewood” and the “Annex,” respectively. At one time, the second floor boasted 34 beds, sitting room, offices and storage, while the third hosted 52 beds. But now the entire operation only counts roughly 40 active tenants in its ranks. La Gamelle operates the commercial unit on the ground level.