Billionaires’ Row coalition sues NYC to keep homeless men out of their neighborhood

July 3, 2018

Image © 6sqft

A group of New Yorkers who live near Billionaires’ Row, an area with some of the most expensive residences in the world, filed a lawsuit on Monday to block a homeless shelter from opening in the Midtown West neighborhood. The West 58th Street Coalition sued New York City to stop the conversion of the old Park Savoy Hotel at 158 West 58th Street into a homeless shelter for men, a plan announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in February.

The coalition claims the shelter, which would house 140 single men, would have “an enormous impact on our densely populated, narrow, high-pedestrian-traffic street.” While describing themselves as a group of “compassionate New Yorkers,” the petition says instead of the city paying $50,000 per person to stay at the Park Savoy, “a homeless man could have his own apartment, living in the neighborhood where he came from.” The new shelter sits behind One57, a known for the city’s most expensive residential sale ever: a penthouse that sold for $100 million in 2015.

In the lawsuit, the coalition says the shelter would pose a threat to the residents living there, as well as the neighbors. According to the Daily News, the lawsuit says order is needed because of the “threat to the health, welfare and safety of the public and future residents of this shelter.”

“Putting large groups of men together in shelter situations creates opportunities for conflict and crime, as opposed to an opportunity for men to have a place of their own with privacy and dignity,” the petition, which currently has over 1,500 signatures, reads.

The shelter, expected to open this summer at a cost of $60.8 million, is part of de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” plan, aimed at reducing the number of facilities across the city by 45 percent. Residents said they did not receive proper notice from the city about the project. But the city has said it followed protocol and notified local elected officials 30 days before construction began.

“They also have to participate in this effort to ensure that we have enough shelter,” de Blasio said at an event in January, referring to Midtown West neighborhood.

In addition to the ritzy condominium One57, the Park Savoy shelter would sit near supertalls 432 Park Avenue, Central Park Tower and 53W53.

[Via NY Daily News]


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