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Times Square Stakeholders Support Candler Building Migrant Shelter

Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement last week to use the vacant and historic Candler Building at 209-213 W. 42nd St. for migrant housing had us expecting Times Square stakeholders to yell at the plan.

silly us!

Asked for comment, Durst Organization President Douglas Durst, owner of 151 W. 42nd St. (formerly Four Times Square), told us:

“We appreciate all that Mayor Adams is trying to do to help asylum seekers find shelter and manage the broader crisis. Ultimately, the federal government and Congress in particular must take responsibility for solve the underlying problem.

Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris was equally optimistic: “The Adams administration is using the building to address an immediate crisis and house asylum seekers. We have discussed this with them and have further plans in place to work with them on all operational logistics to ensure a smooth transition.

Harris’ comment included this nugget: “There are long-term plans in place to convert the iconic Candler Building on 42nd Street in Times Square into a hotel, which is not surprising given the robustness of the recovery of the hospitality industry in Times Square.”

Work to restore the long dark Times Square Theater at the shutdown 215 W. 42nd St.
Creative Commons

But the “Deuce” between Seventh and Eighth Avenue is slowly but surely rising on the descending train.

While a migrant center isn’t quite the same as a homeless shelter, it’s hard to imagine that such a mid-block shelter will help stop the slide.

The former BB King’s Blues club and several shops and restaurants, including the once busiest McDonald’s in the country, at the Candler, are empty.

Work to restore the long dark Times Square Theater at the shutdown 215 W. 42nd St.

The block is a far cry from the dangerous, pornographic days of the 1970s and 80s.

But it has fallen noticeably from its healthy peak of around 2000.

So, with thousands of vacant properties available across the city, why has City Hall decided to dump unemployed migrants in one of Times Square’s iconic spots?

New York Post

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