NYC’s first hotel-to-housing conversion moves forward

The drive to convert troubled hotels into affordable apartments is finally in progress.

A struggling Hilton near JFK airport in Queens has been identified as a guinea pig for the program.

On Wednesday, the developers announced that the 2021 state tourism program will be used with the aim of easing the process of converting hotels into accommodation, The New York Times first reported,

144-02 135th Ave. The Jamaica Queens Hilton New York JFK Airport, located at New York JFK Airport, has been chosen as the first hard-hitting hotel to convert from short-term to long-term residential.

According to the Times, once complete, the $150 million redevelopment is slated to feature 300 units.

Advocates of the pandemic-era program argue that this method of converting existing inns into apartments will prove more efficient than building new housing.

According to the Times, David Schwartz of Slate Property Group, one of the developers involved in the conversion, commented, “We have to add more units than we’ve ever had.” “We have to make the pie bigger.”

Nonprofit Riseboro Community Partnership and msquare Also on the development team of the project.

Gov. Cathy Hochul called the announcement an “important step” in meeting the needs of New Yorkers who “are counting on their elected officials to do something about the housing crisis.”

Hilton Hotel Accommodation Conversion
The hotel has fallen on hard times after taking a dive into overseas tourism and is due to close on June 1.

Hilton Hotel Accommodation Conversion
The building is planned to be rented out as long-term housing until 2025.

Hilton Hotel Accommodation Conversion
A room in a hotel.

Between renovating hotel rooms and adding heating systems, the developers hope to rent out the former Hilton rooms as permanent housing within two years.

The 207,000-square-foot Hilton in question, one of two by the international airport, is being sold by hotel developer Sam Chang after a plunge in foreign tourism hurt the business beyond repair. reported crane,

The 12-story business is set to lay off all 125 of its employees and close permanently on June 1, according to a layoff notice posted on the state Department of Labor’s website in March.

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