Fenton Lounge 2.0 reappears after 2015 shutdown

Front of 2437 Fenton Avenue.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

The so-called ‘Fenton Lounge’ is back — and the city wasted no time taking on the bed and breakfast once again.

The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement visited the location on Thursday, September 1 to issue multiple violations.

According to a spokesperson from the mayor’s office, MOSE issued violations for illegal transient use – meaning the building is being illegally occupied.

Currently, the two-bedroom home is serving as a bed and breakfast housing clients for short-term stays. The bed and breakfast is advertised through Airbnb.

In addition, MOSE issued three violations in relation to the illegal transient use.

These violations were issued for a lack of egress, no fire alarm and a lack of sprinkler.

The ‘lounge’ was a large topic of conversation and a protest in 2015, as neighbors became fed up with the activity at the location.

Previously, the two-bedroom apartment was rented out as space for parties.

Neighbors complained of loud music playing through the wee hours of the morning.

In addition, there were at times strippers in the backyard visible to neighboring residents.

At the time, the space was $750 per night. At the time of this article the space is listed on Airbnb for $99 per night.

After many complaints from residents, Senator Jeff Klein got involved.

Klein, held a press conference in December to call for the shutting down of the lounge.

Things quieted down this year as the parties stopped.

Community Board 11 immediately notified the NYC Department of Buildings in August when the Fenton Lounge reopened this summer as the ‘Fenton Lounge 2.0’

Proponents of Airbnb have been complaining about situations similar to the Fenton Avenue debacle.

Recently, legislation was passed in the NYS senate and assembly to enforce state laws that prevent short term rentals of apartments — especially if the tenant is not present.

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal was the chief sponsor on the bill which was placed on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk this summer for his signature.

Klein who supported the bill, said he is “outraged that Airbnb broke its promise to this community and allowed ‘Fenton Lounge 2.0’ to relaunch and advertise space for up to 16 guests.”

Within a few days of the city inspection, the maximum occupancy on the Airbnb ad changed from 16 to eight guests. In addition the ad asks there be no parties at the location.

“After I shed light on serious problems with this listing, including wild, late night alcohol-fueled parties with strippers that disturbed neighbors, Airbnb immediately yanked the ad,” Klein added. “It’s clear that communities do not matter when it comes to their business model and I will be taking immediate steps to ensure that this does not occur again here in the Bronx or elsewhere in the city.”

Airbnb has been looking to improve its service by working with home-sharing clubs.

The clubs are trying to better home sharing practices.

Nebi Ayele, owner of 2437 Fenton Avenue, declined comment.

An Airbnb spokesperson said, “We encourage all of our hosts and guests to be respectful of their neighbors. If there are legitimate complaints, a host will be suspended and potentially removed.”

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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