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

Christopher Marte Leads Race for Councilmember of District 1

The Primary results are not yet conclusive, but point to Christopher Marte, a son of the Lower East Side, as replacement for Margaret Chin for Councilmember of District 1. As of this morning, Marte holds a commanding lead, garnering roughly 40 percent of votes cast. Just shy of the threshold for victory; but Gigi Li […]

Another Seward Park Co-op General Manager Resigns

More leadership upheaval at the Seward Park Co-op. Residents were recently informed that Brendan Keany, who began his tenure as general manager as Frank Durant’s replacement on April 1, tendered his resignation. For official reasons unknowns. A replacement is currently being sought, below are the communications distributed to the residents a couple weeks ago. Dear […]

Jimmy Jazz Founder Joseph Khezrie Dies at 90

The founder of Jimmy Jazz, the streetwear retailer born on Delancey Street, passed away earlier this month. Joseph Khezrie was 90-years-old. He died on June 4. The company posted a memorial on Instagram this past Sunday, which included a brief video. “Our founder, Joseph Khezrie, was a deeply loyal, respectful and hard-working man,” the post […]

Cactus Store Resumes Summertime Residency on Essex Street

The Cactus Store returned to the Lower East Side this weekend for its fourth seasonal outing, and first since coronavirus ruined everything. As before, the succulents sellers plant annual roots in the lot at 5 Essex Street. Infrastructure from prior years remains in place. Saturday was opening day. The Cactus Store is a product of […]

Ludlow Street Pizzeria Hits the Open Market

La Margarita Pizza might not have much time left in Hell Square. The Ludlow Street pizzeria is now pitched on the open market. The 800 square-foot store at 268 Ludlow appeared on Craigslist in late-May for $9,000 per month in rent. The listing caps some eight years in business for the Lower East Side pizza […]