Times Square stakeholders support the Candler Building immigrant shelter


Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement last week that the vacant and iconic Candler Building at 209-213 West 42nd Street would be used to house immigrants made us anticipate that Times Square stakeholders would yell at the plan.

Fucking us!

In response to a request for comment, Dorset Organization President Douglas Durst, owner of 151 W 42nd Street (formerly Four Times Square), said:

“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 to address the underlying problem.”

Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Coalition, was equally optimistic: “The Adams administration is using the building to solve immediate crisis and asylum seekers. We’ve discussed this with them and have further plans to work with them on all operational logistics so that this can be a smooth transition.”

Harris’ comment included this small 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 how strong the recovery in the hotel industry in Times Square is.”

Work to restore the long-dark Times Square Theater at 215 W. 42nd St.
Work to restore the long-dark Times Square Theater at 215 W. 42nd St.
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But the “Deuce” between Seventh and Eighth Avenues rides the slowly but surely downhill train.

Although an immigrant center isn’t quite the same as a homeless shelter, it’s hard to imagine that such a medium-sized shelter would help stop the slide.

The former BB King’s Blues Club and many shops and restaurants, including the nation’s busiest McDonald’s in Candler, stand empty.

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

The block is a far cry from the dangerous, porn-filled days of the 70’s and 80’s.

But it has declined significantly from its healthy peak around 2000.

So, with thousands of vacant properties available across the city, why did City Hall decide to dump unemployed immigrants into a popular location in Times Square?

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