Blackstone accuses residential tenant of running a one-bedroom restaurant

PhD holder. In German literature who has been unable to find work in academia due to the pandemic, according to his official biography, Gaspery opened his first home earlier this year on the fifth floor of 177 Prince Street, a 6-storey pre-war building in Soho . It appears to be for residences, although it also provides a venue for a wedding.

Then, in April, Gasperi signed a lease for his apartment at 8 Spruce Street, 75E, which is renting for $6,985 a month. The apartment has a combined 440 square feet living and dining room and a kitchenette according to the floor plans.

The apartment is located on two floors below the top of the 76-story tower, and also has great views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. “Our sites are chosen for architectural excellence and upscale interior design,” says Maison Sun, which also describes the sites as “confidential.”

Eight-course meals, which include wine, cost $365 per person, although for $225, patrons can add a “caviar service.” The menus featured dishes such as fluke with seaweed and green dragon apple, and lobster with chicory and salmon roe.

Jaspere probably doesn’t charge to eat at 8 Spruce. But among the evidence presented to the Supreme Court was a meal delivery in his apartment as well as a text message to a neighbor, “You and your wife are invited! No charge!”

Relatively large crowds seem to have agreed. On July 28, for example, the 75H had 16 visitors, according to building managers, and an additional 14 on August 13.

On August 26, 8 Spruce moved to evict Gasperi on the grounds that a restaurant in a residential space violated health laws and zoning rules. His lease is due to expire in April.

A few years ago, 8 Spruce, operated by Beam Living, looked desperate for renters. In 2020, after the pandemic spread and residents fled New York, the vacancy rate in the 899-unit building swelled to 25%.

Brookfield Properties, which acquired the building after buying 8 Spruce developer, Forest City Ratner, in a $11 billion deal in 2018, began shopping around soon after the vacancy rate ballooned, according to news reports.

Records show that Blackstone closed in the spring on purchasing the residential portion of the tower, which has an undulating metal facade and was designed by Frank Gehry, for $930 million.

It is unclear whether Maison Sun poses a real financial threat to Blackstone. But a two-bedroom Jasper floor apartment was put on the market in early August, as Jasper’s parties were raging. As of Thursday, according to online listings, the unit, at $8,888 a month, has not found any buyers.

Brian Epstein, an attorney for 8 Sprouse, declined to comment, as did Blackstone. But “The safety and well-being of our residents is always our top priority,” A Beam Living spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Operating a restaurant out of a high-rise apartment complex violates many of the city’s tenancy and health and safety requirements.”

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