70 Lefferts Hostel Gets Partial Vacate Order

Earlier this year a tipster told us the big yellow house at 70 Lefferts was operating as a hostel; they’ve followed up to tell us it has been since vacated. DOB shows a partial vacate order and full stop work order for “illegally converted rooms into transient hostel without providing required means of egress, fire alarm.” The hostel’s website is still up but you can’t book a date. If you recall, this home was landmarked after the threat of demolition and just hung out on the market after that. Who knows what’s next….
70 Lefferts Place Operating as a Hostel [Brownstoner] GMAP DOB

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  • Does partial vacate mean that the folks already staying there won’t get booted on their asses in the cold?

  • so your narcing of this place was successful i see? :(


  • Wow. I always liked this place; a little surprise treasure on a hidden block. It would have been sad to see it go, but the whole Landmarking the building after-the-fact always felt Wrong. And outing the hostel use on this blog felt wrong.

  • Complaints were lodged with DOB well before anything appeared on this blog. BS11216, how would you have felt if there’d been a fire and a bunch of european backpackers had died because of inadequate sprinkler systems or means of egress? Your “Don’t Snitch” attitude might not have seemed so cool then…

  • I been to the hostel before and known people who stayed there, its okay. I guess they lack some paper work and some other things.

  • Do you know they had inadequate sprinkler systems? Thing is, this operating as a hostel kept it occupied and its mortgage paid. Now, if the building starts decaying again it’ll be pretty sad.

  • I know that there were complaints filed at DOB. I read that in the initial posts. And I don’t have an issue with concerned neighbors going thru the proper channels to file a complaint.

    Not a proponent of “Don’t Snitch” and have never tried to be cool. But, I still stand by the feeling that something about the zeroing in on this owner feels out of place.

  • “Thing is, this operating as a hostel kept it occupied and its mortgage paid. Now, if the building starts decaying again it’ll be pretty sad.”


    Watch as this thing slowly falls into disrepair.

  • DH, doubt any mortgage is being paid since Lis Pendens was filed back in 2009, signaling that foreclosure is on the way…You’d have to ask SunTrust Mortgage about that though.

  • >ave felt if there’d been a fire and a bunch of european backpackers had died because of inadequate sprinkler…

    Yes how about if there was an earthquake and the building collapsed and the gas main under it leaked and caused a major firestorm and killed 500 people ?

    Let’s not use very-rare scenarios to justify snitching. 20 people in a house that large is no danger.

  • Interesting. So lis pendens already filed and owner was likely just pocketing the cash from the hostel and not paying debt service. Hopefully owner can find another (illegal?) way to make some money off of it so he donest trash it before Sun Trust gets him out of there.

  • Really? Fires in a transient hotel are rare? Or is it that it was targeted at European backpackers rather than day laborers or “night” workers? Seems reasonable to me to enforce safety regulations here. Sure, the person who bought the building at an inflated price prior to landmarking got kind of screwed. But do we say go ahead and burn up some Spaniards as some sort of recompense?

  • “But do we say go ahead and burn up some Spaniards as some sort of recompense?”

    Damn! Hahahaha! Ok, that’s not really funny, but it did make me laugh. And good point, by the way.

  • Why does Lis Pendens filed mean no money paid or no deal being worked out with bank?

  • The tenant of an illegal cellar apartment died during a fire 3 weeks ago due to lack of egress in East New York. The fact that some of the rooms in this hostel lack proper chess is a real danger.

  • sad… really wish the fans weren’t flamed here.

    not sure the fear of calamity is a reasonable reason to justify appropriateness of initial post… or whatever the rationale is.

    someone made a point about something in the original thread….

    how is it legal if there is a family of 15 there but not ok if it is transients….?

    and those rooms looked a lot safer than most of the apartments I have lived in in Brooklyn.

  • egress not chess

  • Totally agree with Mr B on this one.

  • The difference between family of 15 and 15 transients is that family more familiar with layout and each other (who’s home or not, who needs help, where are they in the building) than a group of transients, hence more able to exit safely in emergency. Reason for fire safety code is that when people experience an emergency like a fire in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar place, they get hurt.

    Also, expectations of family and paying guests are different – family expects to be making their own decisions and be responsible for their own safety, whereas paying guests expect that safety is included if they’re, well, paying guests.

    Would it change your opinion if an operator had multiple facilities of this type in a given borough that are not licensed? The operator would likely not be declaring the income from their illegal businesses, so lost tax revenue, plus no license = lower operating costs = able to out-compete licensed facilities = not so fair + lost jobs.

    I wouldn’t out them myself (bad karma) but I’m OK that their neighbors did.

  • this same battle ran its course regarding bed and breakfasts years ago.

    there were at least a dozen of them(stayed in half). None of them were legal. none of them were evil. this, if they dont follow all the rules they must be stopped stuff is enough to make me puke.

    The thought that visitors are oblivious and dont know the secret passages out is foolish.

    And aren’t most home businesses illegal if they draw any visitors?

    Took psychology 101 in college. got one thing out of it.. those who cant control the major aspects of their lives go batshit controlling the tiny things.

    in this case, since we cant stop the evil hotel at the end of the block we must stop anything else.

    it is a house, not a warehouse with 100 foot hallways.

    stupid rule. stupid society.

    am also pretty sure this is a cast the first stone issue.

    i have read enough violations back in the day to know that almost every building/business is in violation of some statute or law.

    i, for one, would like to see them back and operating. shame on the local who doesnt want others in his neighborhood.

  • Yeah, I don’t see why there’s any reason why anyone has to follow firecode. I mean, they’re completely arbitrary rules that are invented by pulling things out of a hat.


    Codes are stricter on places where there are a lot of people because the risks are higher.

    A home with a family of fifteen(?!) is different for any number of reasons, including the lack of familiarity with the joint, but also _because you’re paying to be there_.

    The idea that this is somehow harmless rulebreaking that doesn’t hurt anybody is shameful. Calling this out isn’t snitching, it’s public bloody safety.

    (Although the incoherent rambling posts are sort of amusing.)

  • just beware all the activities you do that are about public safety (without reasonable recourse for review) such as jay walking and bike riding. First they came for…..