Owners Struggle to Keep Blue Moon Hotel Alive on Orchard Street
The Blue Moon Hotel is trying desperately at a revival after a challenging few years topped by the pandemic freefall.
Most recently, historic 100 Orchard Street had been in the news for its potential conversion to a homeless shelter. The stream of negative headlines and pressure from the community forced the hotel to cave, and the owners ultimately shelved those plans.
But the challenges with the 1879 tenement run deeper. The boutique hotel is in complete disrepair and in major debt. The Settenbrino family, which launched the lodge in 2006 at great personal cost, is amidst a crowdfunding campaign to stay alive. (The property has been put up for sale many times over the years.)
The Blue Moon Hotel – the Settenbrino’s main family asset – remains strained by the initial monetary outlay to restore the building. The tax and expense burden compelled the owners to lease out the property to a hostel for the last five years, which was an error in hindsight. That arrangement allegedly led to the disassembly and disposal of many fixtures and artifacts of the original renovation. Coupled with the pandemic-induced closure for sixteen months, the costs of revival became nearly insurmountable.
“Funding has been the most difficult to overcome,” Randy Settenbrino tells us in an email. “The City still wants over $400,000 in taxes and ppp was not available since the last employees belonged to the tenant.”
With the homeless shelter debacle in the rearview, the family is reminding the neighborhood about its service to the community. How it took on a rehabilitation program to help people from difficult backgrounds gain skills, discipline, and consistency to re-enter the work force; or how it housed the Chabad of the Lower East Side rent-free for seven years.
“At this juncture we endeavor reopening the Blue Moon Hotel as the unique property it is once again, with its theme the Jazz Age as an ode to Olde New York.”