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Public Safety & Quality of Life

488 Hospitality Group LLC and 790 Lounge LLC, dba: “The Attic”, 790 Eight Avenue (between 48th and 49th Streets), response to Community Complaints.

WHEREAS, 488 Hospitality Group, LLC and 790 Lounge LLC (collectively, the “Licensee”) currently operate “The Attic” pursuant to an on-premises liquor license for the 15th floor, 16th floor rooftop indoor area and 16th floor roof deck lounge located at 790 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10019 (the “Premises”), and

WHEREAS, The Licensee came before Community Board Five in March 2014 to apply for an on-premises liquor license, and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five recommended denial of the application unless certain conditions were adhered to, amongst which were a certain method of operation, limitations on hours of operation, and various sound mitigation techniques designed to reduce noise from disturbing neighboring residents; and

WHEREAS, The Licensee agreed to those conditions and executed an affidavit dated April 3, 2014 (attached hereto); and

WHEREAS, Over the past 18 months, neighboring residents have logged numerous complaints relating to excessive noise emanating from the Premises from its various events and general activities during late hours; and

WHEREAS, The Premises was the subject of almost 400 noise complaints, logged by 311: in 2016, it was the subject of 303, in 2017 it was the subject of 81 and so far in 2018, it has been the subject of 6 (see attached); and

WHEREAS, Several nearby residents have been in frequent contact with the Manhattan Midtown North Police Precinct and Community Board Five regarding their concerns, which are extensively documented by email records; and

WHEREAS, In several (but not all) cases, although the Licensee was in technical compliance with New York City sound level regulations, amplified sound from the rooftop nonetheless caused unreasonable disruption to the neighboring residents; and

WHEREAS, The majority of noise complaints related to the 16th floor roof deck lounge as well as the tented portion of the 16th floor rooftop indoor area, which is covered solely buy a thin tent structure; and

WHEREAS, There is a history of criminal activity at the establishment, evidenced by the three NYPD summonses (attached); and

WHEREAS, On January 18, 2018 the SLA and NYPD conducted a joint investigation of the Premises which produced additional violations (see attached); and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five held a meeting between the Licensee and neighboring residents on October 20, 2016 at which time the Licensee agreed to take a number of steps to mitigate excessive noise, including installation of specially designed, soundproof drapes over the tent structure on the 16th Floor of the Premises; and

WHEREAS, By February 2017, very few steps had been implemented and the noise complaints from neighboring residents continued, and

WHEREAS, On February 15, 2017, in an email to members of Community Board Five and the community affairs unit of the Manhattan Midtown North Police Precinct, the Licensee once again agreed to take several steps to address the continued noise complaints, including:

WHEREAS, As of March 29, 2017, the speakers had only been partially moved inwards, and the drapes had still not been installed, and the noise problems continued unabated; and

WHEREAS; The proposed sound absorbing drapes are likely prohibited by the building and fire codes; and

WHEREAS, The Licensee appeared at the March 29, 2017 meeting of the Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee of Community Board Five (the “Meeting”) along with several neighboring residents and the property manager of the Ritz Plaza, a residential rental building located next to the Premises; and

WHEREAS, A number of neighbors members testified about the extremely negative impact of the operations of the Licensee, including one person who confirmed she was forced to terminate the lease on her apartment early because of the extreme level of noise and bass at late hours; and

WHEREAS, A representative of the management company for the Ritz Plaza confirmed that several tenants had to be let out of their leases early because of the extreme level of noise at late hours; and

WHEREAS, New information presented during the Meeting revealed that the establishment has been operating using a potentially illegal structure on the rooftop area, which may pose a hazard to the community and be in violation of building codes; and

WHEREAS, Because of the unenclosed nature of the 16th Floor space with the use of only a “temporary” tent structure enclosing a portion of the space, CB5 does not believe that the Premises can be operated in a manner that suitably contains sound; and

WHEREAS, At the March 29, 2017 Meeting, the Committee voted unanimously to recommend revocation of the license at the Premises unless extreme measures were taken by the Applicant to address the issues; and

WHEREAS, Since March 29, 2017 the issues have continued unabated, as evidenced by continual record of 311 complaints, SLA complaints, and police activity; and

WHEREAS, Because the Licensee cannot reduce the disturbance caused by the operations at the Premises, the Premises cannot be permitted to continue disrupting the quiet enjoyment of the neighboring residents; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends revocation of the on-premises liquor license held by 488 Hospitality Group, LLC, a co-licensee with 790 Lounge LLC, operating D/B/A “The Attic” at the 15th floor, 16th floor rooftop indoor area and 16th floor roof deck lounge located at 790 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10019.

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