Monday, August 14, 2023

The appointment of the new non-resident ambassador comes as Washington is trying to normalise Israeli ties with Riyadh [Maya Alleruzzo and Bandar al-Jaloud/AFP] 

A trendy four-star hotel in Long Island City has now become a migrant shelter as the Big Apple scrambles to house the swarm of asylum seekers arriving in the city — even as Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’d meet with federal officials Sunday in an effort to ease the squeeze on the Big Apple.

That did little to soothe concerns in Long Island City, where locals griped that the hotel’s new “guests” were ruining their neighborhood.

The industrial-hip Collective Paper Factory hotel — which was once home to a historic paper factory — began housing migrants Friday after being converted into a Department of Homeless Services emergency shelter site for families, City Hall officials confirmed to The Post Saturday.

Workers at the hotel-turned-shelter, located at 37-06 36th Street, said that 16 families had already moved in, as plans are underway to fill all of its 125 loft-style rooms with asylum seekers.

The five-story building also includes a gym, communal spaces, meeting rooms, a bar, and a restaurant.

“It’s not a hotel anymore – it’s a shelter, for asylum seekers, families,” one staffer told The Post.

Mayor Eric Adams’ office would not elaborate on how many migrants they expect to be housed at the once-funky hotel.
Neighbors are already complaining that migrants using the hotel are ruining the neighborhood.
Robert Miller

Concerned local residents, however, have already complained about their new neighbors.

One man, who lives next door to the new shelter, fumed that the migrants are drinking and tossing their trash in the street.

“There is already littering on the streets — cans and Coca Cola bottles. It’s just a day later,” the resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, told The Post.

“Last night, I saw a family of five [or] six children, a mother and a father sitting on their cars with some friends just having some beers, and I was walking my dog on the street and a little kid was going ‘Woof! Woof!’ to my dog,” he said.

“What are the regulations for them coming in here? Are there background checks? I don’t know,” he continued.
Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly warned that the migrant crisis would eventually “decimate” the Big Apple if more federal funding doesn’t come fast.

“It just makes us nervous. We don’t want the whole block to become a hangout spot.”

Michael Cohen, who owns a nearby 85-unit rent-stabilized apartment building, told the Queens/LIC Post that he is “appalled” by the city’s decision to convert the 4-star hotel into a migrant shelter.

The Queens/LIC Post first reported Friday that the hotel was being converted into housing for homeless asylum seekers.

The hip Collective Paper Factory hotel in Long Island City began housing migrants Friday.
Robert Miller

“This use of this building is taking the neighborhood in exactly the opposite direction, given all the time, energy, zoning changes, and financial investments put into it, including from the city,” Cohen seethed.

“I’m appalled by this action from this city because it is contrary to everything that has happened to the area in the last 15 years.”

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The average one-bedroom rental in Long Island City goes for $3,956 – more than any other neighborhood in Queens, according to a June report by MNS Real Estate.

The average condo in the neighborhood sold for $989,677 during the second quarter of 2023 – even though it represented a 6.3% drop from the previous year, according to a report by broker Ryan Serhant.

More than 100,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since last spring.

Currently, almost 60,000 migrants are being housed in 198 shelter sites throughout the five boroughs, putting significant strain on the Big Apples shelter system.

To try and ease the pressure, Mayor Eric Adams struck a deal with Gov. Kathy Hochul this week to relocate 1,200 migrant families outside the city — the most substantial move by the state to take ownership of the crisis, The Post reported Friday.
Almost 60,000 migrants are being housed in 198 shelter sites throughout the five boroughs.
Robert Miller

To try and ease the pressure, Mayor Eric Adams struck a deal with Hochul this week to relocate 1,200 migrant families outside the city — the most substantial move by the state to take ownership of the crisis, The Post reported Friday .

On Saturday, Hochul said she was scheduled to meet with officials from the US Department of the Interior about the migrant mess on Sunday.

She said the state was also providing the Big Apple with a $250 million boost to help with the migrant costs — part of a $1 billion “commitment” the governor claimed was allocated for the city in the 2024 budget.

The governor said the budget calls for Albany to reimburse New York City for 29% of the costs incurred by the crisis, including for security, staffing, transportation, food and supplies and cleaning.

“Since asylum seekers first arrived in New York we have been providing significant humanitarian aid as New York City works to meet their obligation to provide shelter,” Hochul said in a statement.

Migrants were already being sheltered at several state-owned sites in the five boroughs, including at JFK International Airport and the Creedmore Psychiatric Center in Queens, she added.

Hochul also said she was deploying more National Guard troops to upstate shelters, bringing the total number assigned to the migrant crisis to more than 1,800 — including at more than 30 hotels in the city.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

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