The group wrote on Facebook about the hotel’s closing on Friday night, saying that the hotel has been shut “for the time being and until further notice.”
“It’s not enough for it to be shut,” the Facebook post said. “We are interested in knowing it’s future - as it has historically been a point of anguish for the community. We will not allow a new problem to surface.”
Internal emails obtained by the Queens Ledger show that it was the owner who decided to shut the hotel’s doors.
“Management said that it was the owner’s decision to close the hotel,” the email said.
Officers from the 102nd precinct who were coming onto shift to monitor the hotel noticed that the hotel was dark.
“They were able to enter the lobby and saw signs saying that the hotel was closed,” the email said.
The email said that tenants who live on the upper floors will still be there, but “the remainder of the building will cease to function as a hotel."
Community Board 9 Chairperson Kenichi Wilson also confirmed that the hotel was shut down.
“Some have attempted to call and request a reservation,” Wilson said. “They’ve told people who called that the hotel is permanently closed and the hotel will not be reopening.”
Wilson, along with other civic leaders, has been fighting to have this hotel closed since the beginning of its problematic tenure in Kew Gardens.
“I’m glad that the owners of the hotel came to their senses,” he said. “It’s a shame that it took someone to lose their life.”
The hotel has been a hotspot for crime-related activity, which culminated in a shooting on New Year’s Day, leaving 20-year-old Robert Williams dead.
His mother, Robin Williams, spoke at a meeting with local Civics leaders and a mayoral representative on Thursday.
“We need to do our best to get this place shut down,” she said. “It seems like it’s going to be a little struggle to do so. I don’t want another parent to feel the way I feel.”
District Attorney Melinda Katz said that her office is still prosecuting 16 incidents that have occurred at the hotel since May 2020.
However, Wilson said that Kew Garden residents will now be able to breathe a sigh of relief that the hotel has closed.
“You couldn’t walk past the location without feeling like something is going to happen,” Wilson said. “There was such a high level of anxiety even being in that area. I’m happy for the local residents. I am going to continue working with city officials to make sure that this stays closed.”