Mayor Eric Adams announced last week to use the vacant, landmark The Candler Building for Migrant Housing at 209-213 W. 42nd St. We expect the stakeholders of Times Square to shake their heads at the plan.
When asked for comment, Douglas Durst, president of the Durst Organization, the landlord of 151 W. 42nd St. (formerly Four Times Square), told us:
“We appreciate everything Mayor Adams has done to help asylum seekers find shelter and manage the widespread crisis. Ultimately, the federal government, and especially Congress, must take responsibility for addressing the underlying problem.
Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, seemed equally optimistic: “The Adams administration is using the building to solve an immediate crisis and to house refuge. We are discussing this with them and all operational logistics.” There are more plans to work with them so that this is a smooth transition.
Harris’ commentary included this nugget: “With Times Square having long-term plans to convert the iconic Candler Building on 42nd Street into a hotel, it should come as no surprise given how strong the hotel industry recovery in Times Square has been. “
But between the seventh and eighth avenues the “deuce” is slowly but steadily riding the downbound train.
Although a migrant center is not the same as a homeless shelter, it is hard to imagine that such a mid-block shelter would help stop the slide.
Many stores and restaurants stand empty, including the former BB King’s Blues Club and the nation’s busiest McDonald’s in Candler.
perform a restore Times Square Theater at 215 W. 42nd St. went dark for a long time,
The block is a far cry from the raucous, vulgar days of the 1970s and ’80s.
But it has fallen significantly from its all-time, circa-2000 peak.
So, with thousands of vacant properties all over the city, why did City Hall decide to drop off unemployed migrants into one of Times Square’s iconic spots?