NYC Billionaire’s Row Gets New Neighbors: Homeless Shelter Gets Green Light After Lawsuit Is Dismissed

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A homeless shelter must be created on one of New York City’s most expensive streets, after a legal battle to prevent its opening ended in defeat.

A New York State Court of Appeal on Thursday dismissed concerns raised by a coalition of residents and businesses from the Manhattan neighborhood of Central Park, nicknamed Billionaire’s Row.

Billionaire’s Row is actually not one street, or officially defined.

Real estate agents describe it as an area south of Central Park, between 57th Street and 59th Street north to south, and extending from 8th Avenue in the west for eight blocks east to 2nd Avenue. Trump Tower is just to the south.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched an initiative called Turning the Tide, which aimed to create 90 homeless shelters in the city.

One of the chosen locations was the Park Savoy Hotel, which closed permanently in 2018.

The Park Savoy Hotel, which closed in 2018, has now been designated a homeless shelter

The Park Savoy Hotel, which closed in 2018, has now been designated to become a homeless shelter

The homeless shelter is surrounded by one of the most expensive properties in the world

De Blasio planned to house 140 men in the hotel’s 70 suites.

Still, the objections were immediate.

A group calling itself The West 58th Street Coalition sued the city in 2018, describing the building as fundamentally unsuitable for a homeless shelter, arguing that it was a fire hazard.

“This plan has never been shared with anyone in our neighborhood, and our input has not been solicited,” the coalition wrote on a Change.org petition against it.

“While we understand the need to accommodate the city’s homeless, we believe the Mayor Turning the Tide’s plan has major flaws.”

They called De Blasio’s plan ‘an expensive plaster that cannot make up for the shortage of affordable housing’.

They say it will cost $ 63 million – or $ 50,000 per person – in nine years and argue that the money could be better spent on alternatives.

“Bringing together large groups of men in shelters creates opportunities for conflict and crime, as opposed to an opportunity for men to have a place of their own with privacy and dignity,” they reasoned.

According to the coalition’s lawsuit, the shelter’s building has only one path to enter and exit. That means that in the event of a fire, both rescuers and residents evacuating the building would be forced to use the same staircase, the lawsuit said.

Since 1968, the city’s building code has stipulated that buildings have at least two ways to enter and exit.

The city has said adherence to current codes was not required due to a grandfather clause in the city’s building code that would apply to the former Park Savoy Hotel.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit in April 2019, noting that the issue of a temporary certificate of occupancy meant that the city’s Department of Buildings determined the structure was in accordance with local laws.

52nd Street and 10th Avenue: A homeless encampment is seen in front of the Robert W. Wilson MCC theater temporarily closed due to the pandemic

52nd Street and 10th Avenue: A homeless encampment is seen in front of the Robert W. Wilson MCC theater temporarily closed due to the pandemic

9th Avenue and 44th Street: A homeless man is lying on the sidewalk.  The pandemic raised the ante on homelessness, mental illness and crime - particularly indiscriminate assaults and stabbings when homeless men and women are seen on the streets

9th Avenue and 44th Street: A homeless man is lying on the sidewalk. The pandemic raised the ante on homelessness, mental illness and crime – particularly indiscriminate assaults and stabbings when homeless men and women are seen on the streets

Times Square: A mentally ill homeless man lies in the street blocking traffic in Times Square, the most populous place in the United States overrun with homeless people

Times Square: A mentally ill homeless man lies in the street blocking traffic in Times Square, the most populous place in the United States overrun with homeless people

Isaac McGinn, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Homeless Services, said at the time, “ We look forward to opening our doors to hard-working neighbors in need at this location as soon as possible, and will continue to work with the community to ensure ensuring that our customers are embraced and supported as neighbors. ‘

But in August 2019, an appeals court in Manhattan reinstated the lawsuit and ordered further hearings on whether the building’s use was “ in accordance with general safety and welfare standards. ”

On Thursday, the state’s highest court in Albany overturned that decision and decided the asylum could go ahead.

The court ruled that the classification of the building on West 58th Street was based on evidence that the residents would occupy the units for an average of 30 days.

The court said the Manhattan appeals court was beyond its jurisdiction.

‘After a court has concluded that a competent authority has assessed an issue applying the appropriate legal standard and that its determination has a rational basis, a court cannot second guess that decision by allowing a hearing to seek additional to find facts or consider evidence that his determination, ”said the court in Albany according to Bloomberg.

The coalition has yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s question about what their next move will be.

Grand Central Station: a woman is seen smoking on the street, which has become her home, in front of HSBC Bank at 42nd Street in Manhattan

Grand Central Station: a woman is seen smoking on the street, which has become her home, in front of HSBC Bank at 42nd Street in Manhattan

The proposed hideaway is less than a block from the most expensive home in the United States – a penthouse at 220 Central Park South, which was purchased in 2019 by billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin for $ 238 million.

Griffin’s house beat the record set by Michael Dell, founder of the computer company, who bought a penthouse on One 57 – directly behind the shelter – in 2014 for $ 100 million.

Close to two is Central Park South – the world’s tallest residential building, at 1,550 feet with 131 floors.

It may also be the most expensive condo project ever, with up to $ 4 billion in condos set to be sold later this year.

Central Park Tower is the world's tallest residential building, at 1,550 feet

Central Park Tower is the world’s tallest residential building, at 1,550 feet

The sun is reflecting off Central Park Tower, with 220 Central Park South on the right

The sun is reflecting off Central Park Tower, with 220 Central Park South on the right

Sting and his wife Trudi Styler will own a $ 65 million home in 220 Central Park South in January 2020

Sting and his wife Trudi Styler will own a $ 65 million home in 220 Central Park South in January 2020

Funder Ken Griffin bought America's most expensive home at 220 Central Park South

Funder Ken Griffin bought America’s most expensive home at 220 Central Park South

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez bought a house in this tower for $ 15 million in 2018

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez bought a house in this tower for $ 15 million in 2018

Rodriguez and Lopez put the apartment back on the market in 2019 for $ 17 million

Rodriguez and Lopez put the apartment back on the market in 2019 for $ 17 million

Other local residents include Sting and Trudi Styler, who paid $ 65 million in 2019 for an apartment in Griffin’s building.

Jennifer Lopez and former fiancé Alex Rodriguez bought a $ 15 million apartment in 432 Park – the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere that towers nearly 1,400 feet above the city and Central Park. They released it a year later, in 2019, for $ 17 million.

According to the Coalition for The Homeless, New York City currently has more than 57,000 homeless people.

Last month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development released its latest report on homelessness in the United States, which found that the number of people sleeping roughly increased by two percent last year.

Homelessness levels have now risen for four consecutive years and just over 580,000 people have experienced it in one night in 2020. One in four of those was in New York City or Los Angeles.

Of those 580,000 people, 28 percent were in California and 16 percent in New York, with Florida and Texas both accounting for five percent of the homeless population.

Of that total, 61 percent lived in emergency shelters or temporary housing, while the rest were forced to live in unsheltered locations such as the street, abandoned buildings, or locations unsuitable for human habitation.

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