If you noticed a moving van outside the hotel the last week of December, you might be wondering which of our neighbors we’ve lost this time. Well, it was Peter Ferro, who had occupied the suite of rooms once belonging to Arthur Miller for the past 24 years. For many years Peter lived and worked in the suite, though in recent years he had chosen to live elsewhere and to use the entire suite for his dental business. As you might imagine, it’s quite a chore to move a whole dental business, but as there’s no rent stabilization for businesses, Peter had no choice but to move. His lease was up at the end of this year, and, while BD Hotels had indicated a willingness to be flexible and allow him some extra time if he needed it (and it turns out he did), there’s now a new sheriff in town. Manager Andrew Tilley reportedly asked for $24,000 per month (!!!!) for the space, and when Peter balked at that extortionate sum (when the wiring’s so bad that he has to unplug his AC in order to use his X-ray machine!), Tilley reportedly had eviction papers served on him. We wish him luck in finding a new space, and will keep our readers updated on his search.
Just this past month they’ve managed to vacate two historic rooms: first Thomas Wolfe’s room, and now Arthur Miller’s apartment. Obviously, tenants mourn the loss not only of our neighbors, but of these two historic rooms, which hotel management presumably intends to turn into high-priced nightly rooms. But we’d like to point out that that’s a gamble on their part, as, with a Stop Work order in effect on the entire building, they’re not going to be able to do the construction necessary to get the rooms ready to rent (at least not at the high prices they desire: they can probably just throw a bed and a TV in Wolfe’s room, if it comes to that, but Miller’s apartment is a huge suite of rooms). With the economy tanking, and the hotel occupancy down, they’ve thrown away a sure source of income. (Both tenants were paying market rates.) And the Capitol Fishing Tackle storefront is still vacant, 2-and-a-half years later! -- Ed Hamilton