By David Jeans
June 10, 2019
As the city investigates the condo board for illegal Airbnb rentals, bank records show it was paid $700K by a travel agency.
The Atelier, a luxury residential condominium on Manhattan’s Far West Side that has been at the center of an illegal Airbnb rental investigation, reportedly received payments from a travel agency that leased out short-term rentals in the building.
Dan Neiditch, who is president of the tower’s condo board, and also runs his own brokerage River 2 River Realty out of the building to attract buyers, received $704,000 in two payments last year from the travel agency, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The city has in the past 12 months sought to clamp down on illegal Airbnb rentals and banned rentals of an entire house or unit for less than 30 days.
The tower has been at the center of multiple investigations prompted by short-term rentals of condominiums. Officials from the mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement issued violations to 20 different condo owners — two of whom were board members — in October.
Following that raid, attorney Massimo D’Angelo, who represents some condominium owners, sent a letter to the board demanding that that an “illegal hotel enterprise” be shutdown. Several board members subsequently received fines from the condo board for “intimidating or menacing individuals in the building,” said [redacted], the attorney for the condo board, which is controlled by Nieditch.
Neiditch, who purportedly owns over a dozen units in the building, has previously drawn headlines for his outlandish, deceptive marketing claims. He has marketed a single unit near the top of the building for $85 million, which he said comes complete with $1 million yacht and two tickets to outer space on a Virgin Galactic space flight. But in reality, the “penthouse’ actually consists of about a dozen individual apartments, some of which are owned by various shell corporations and people. Several of the units are currently occupied. Industry players have long said it’s nothing more than a publicity stunt, that the price is divorced from reality.
In response to the evidence that Neiditch’s brokerage firm received payment from a travel agency that rented out apartments in the building for short-term periods, condo board attorney [redacted] told the Journal that “he generally does not investigate who authorized whom to send what where.”