Why CitizenM is the Worst Neighbor on the Bowery [OP-ED]
The following editorial was written by longtime reader, and frequent commenter, Big Tim Sullivan.
After a seemingly never-ending construction period, CitizenM has been “reaching out” to neighbors to enlist their help and garner support for approval of the hotel’s much-needed liquor license. (For CanteenM on the ground level and CloudM on the rooftop.)
They need our help. However, there has never been a business that more deserved a flat “No!” from the community than CitizenM. They are possibly the worst neighbor on the Bowery. It’s a nearly unanimous opinion of nearby neighbors who are fed up with the gracelessness and greed these operators have already displayed, and they aren’t near open yet. Nearly all residents living around this modular construction project that I’ve spoken to have had enough of this lame, amateur development group and their boorish behavior.
It should have been obvious after the dangerous and off-putting Giant Red Crane arrived on the corner of one of downtown’s busiest intersections that CitizenM would be no ordinary menace. Nearly a dozen times the crane needed to be lowered, creating a cascade of horrible consequences for neighboring businesses and residents. Streets were closed, traffic diverted, bus stops eliminated all so CitizenM could experiment with some new, cheaper building scheme. It was the genesis of the “Jenga Tower.” Thanks to that crane the community lost parking, bus riders had their longtime stop moved, and pedestrians were forced to navigate a dangerous maze of blind turns late at night. The noise increased from car horns due to the loss of lanes on Bowery and the hard merge the crane demanded.
There appeared to be no rush to finish the crane work, either. But the real insult to Bowery residents came after it was carted away – CitizenM never relinquished the street space. To this day they are squatting on it, using it as defacto storage space and a place to locate port-a-potties. Even though CitizenM has plenty of room in the setback area in what will eventually be a front courtyard, plus the commercial space directly north of their location they acquired after their project bankrupted the previous business tenant, they greedily hold onto the lane on Bowery they abducted at the start of their project. It’s no wonder so many around here say CitizenM is the worst neighbor on Bowery.
Now they need our help. They want our support. There are jobs at stake, they say. The answer is “No!” CitizenM does not deserve our help. They don’t deserve our support. CitizenM has shown us – the Lower East Side – who they are. Let’s all see it and react accordingly. The loss of jobs is regretful but this hotel needs to reap what it has sown.
The worst neighbor on the Bowery doesn’t deserve a liquor license. Hopefully someone in power will agree.