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NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL: Residents of ‘Billionaire’s Row’ wail against homeless shelter plan

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From New York Business Journal:

New York City has approved a plan to convert an old hotel into a homeless shelter on West 58th Street.

And the billionaires who live there are peeved.

Per The Associated Press, the West 58th Street Coalition — representing the surrounding blocks — is fighting the hotel-to-shelter conversion. At a recent meeting, angry residents yelled, “Not in this neighborhood!”

“We’re completely baffled by how this shelter was planned,” said coalition President Suzanne Silverstein.

Plans to build the shelter are in line with campaign promises by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who for years has been trying to roll out a comprehensive five-borough plan to drive down the population of homeless residents in New York City.

In February 2018, there were 63,343 homeless people, including 15,546 homeless families (with 23,314 homeless children), sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system, according to Coalition for the Homeless.

The new shelter expects to house 140 single men in what was once the budget Park Savoy Hotel on West 58th Street. It’s located adjacent to One57, a 1,004-foot-tall luxury tower on what has been dubbed Manhattan’s “Billionaire’s Row.”

Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Inc., set a One57 record for the most expensive home ever sold in New York City when he paid $100 million for his condo in 2014 (h/t The Wall Street Journal).

Opponents say the homeless men could be a security risk for the neighborhood’s superrich residents.

However, the De Blasio administration pledges to install security cameras and 24-hour guards to monitor the area. There will also be a 10 p.m. curfew, said Isaac McGinn, spokesman for the city Department of Homeless Services.

The city has a nine-year, $63 million proposed contract with Westhab, a nonprofit leasing the Manhattan site from owner New Hampton LLC for $2.6 million a year.

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