BY JAMES FARRELL
A Whitestone spa that had sparked concerns among neighbors who suspected it was a front for illicit activity has shut down.
The spa was set up in the basement of a two-story house at 150-53 14th Rd. For months, its only designation that it was a business was a flashing “open” sign. In its final few weeks, there was a sign in the driveway advertising its business as “Kiki Spa.”
Neighbors who spoke to the Queens Tribune feared that the spa was a front for illegal sexual activity, citing a large number of men entering the building at odd hours, the lack of signage, reports of lingerie in the backyard and highly explicit ads that demanded “no law enforcement” posted on Backpage.com.
The Department of Buildings issued two violations for the spa on Oct. 5, claiming that it was operating illegally without permission from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals. The violations are now listed as “resolved,” and compliance with the law was first noted on Oct. 26. A DOB spokesman said that compliance was noted after the spa was removed.
At a recent We Love Whitestone Civic Association meeting, President Alfredo Centola noted that the 109th Precinct and NYPD also played a role.
“[Detective Kevin O’Donnell] sent his guys out and found that that was an illegal commercial unit,” Centola said. “[The NYPD’s Vice unit] went there, spoke to the landlord and told the landlord, ‘We know what’s going on down there. We know you got violations from the Buildings Department. When we come back, we’re going to arrest them and you.’ Two days later—gone.”
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.