Jan. 11, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A notorious Kew Gardens hotel — where a triple shooting left a 20-year-old man dead on New Year’s Day — has officially closed.
The Umbrella Hotel closed Friday, a hotel worker told the Queens Post Monday. The closure comes one week after the fatal shooting–and after months of demand for City Hall to shutter the troublesome establishment.
However, it was the decision of the hotel management to shut down the business — not the city’s — The Queens Ledger reported.
Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal, who had repeatedly called for its closure, said he was relieved to learn the hotel had shut its doors.
“I applaud and am relieved at the closing of the Umbrella Hotel,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is a victory and is the result of people voicing concerning for their community and standing up for the safety of all around them.”
Neighbors and local lawmakers said the hotel had become a hotbed of crime since the pandemic took a hold of the city. They said drug sales, prostitution and partying — despite the threat of COVID-19 — had run rampant inside the rooms of the Umbrella Hotel for months.
The New Year’s Day fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man was the third shooting to have occurred at the Queens Boulevard hotel since early July. Robert Williams was killed in what officials are calling the city’s first homicide of the year.
A shooting took place on July 3 when a 15-year-old reputed gang member shot another teen after the pair exited the lobby of the hotel. The victim, 17, was shot in the leg and required surgery.
Another shooting occurred on Aug. 9, although it resulted in no injuries. With this incident, the front door of the hotel was left ridden with bullet holes.
Last week, de Blasio called the Jan. 1 shooting death “very, very painful” and said he is working to close the hotel immediately.
“We’re going to use all the power of the city government to get [the Umbrella Hotel] closed and stop having the community suffer from what’s happened at that hotel,” he said.
There were several other incidents that took place at the hotel in recent months. For instance, in September, a man allegedly forced a 16-year-old girl into prostitution inside its hotel rooms.
In November, the Umbrella Hotel was served with 15 summonses — including two criminal summonses — following a multi-agency inspection conducted by the NYPD, FDNY, DOB, DEP and Sheriff’s Office.
Residents and local lawmakers like Rosenthal and Council Member Karen Koslowitz had called on the de Blasio administration to shutter the hotel since August.