Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement last week to make use of the vacant Candler landmark constructing at 209-213 W. forty second St. for immigrant housing led us to expect Times Square stakeholders to lament the plan.
Stupid of us!
Asked for comment, Durst Organization president Douglas Durst, owner of 151 W. forty second St. (formerly Four Times Square), told us:
“We appreciate all that Mayor Adams is attempting to do to assist asylum seekers find shelter and cope with the broader crisis. Ultimately, the federal government, and Congress specifically, must take responsibility for addressing the underlying problem.”
Times Square Alliance president Tom Harris sounded equally optimistic: “The Adams administration uses the constructing to resolve immediate crises and receive asylum seekers. We’ve talked to them about this and have more plans to work with them on all operational logistics to make this transition smooth.”
Harris’ comment included the next nugget: “There are long-term plans to convert the long-lasting Candler Building on forty second Street in Times Square right into a hotel, which isn’t surprising given how strong the revival of the hospitality industry in Times Square has been.”
But the “Two” between Seventh and Eighth Avenues is slowly but steadily going downhill.
While a migrant center isn’t similar to a homeless shelter, it’s hard to assume that a mid-block shelter like this is able to help stop the slippage.
The former BB King’s Blues club and several other shops and restaurants, including the once busiest McDonald’s within the country in Candler, stand empty.
Work to revive the long-dark Times Square Theater at 215 W. forty second St. have been suspended.
The block is removed from the damaging, porn-filled 70s and 80s.
But it has clearly fallen from its healthy peak around 2000.
So why, with hundreds of vacant properties across the town, has City Hall decided to desert unemployed migrants in considered one of Times Square’s iconic locations?