US

Inside the $700-a-night luxury NYC hotel The Row where thousands of migrants will be housed

Migrants arriving in New York City from the border will be housed temporarily in this luxury Manhattan hotel – the $700-a-night The Row in the tourist hotspot of Times Square, but they’ll be assigned to ring-fenced floors and will be told to use a separate entrance to the tourists being charged top dollar to stay there.

Popular with people traveling for business and pleasure, The Row – described on travel review sites as ‘merging NYC’s grit with grandeur’ – will become a hub for housing migrants on the taxpayers’ dime in the coming weeks. 

The four-star Row, on 8th Avenue between 44th and 45th streets, is in the heart of Manhattan’s Broadway Theater District and boasts classic NYC views, a full fitness studio, a communal workspace equipped with Apple’s $2,000 iMac desktops and a lounge where ‘hand-stretched’ pizzas are $20. Its bar menu boasts cocktails costing up to $19 each. A glass of champagne is $22. Room prices vary depending on the size – but the executive suite is $719 a night.

Sources told DailyMail.com that up to four floors of the 28-story building will be given over to New York City’s Department of Homeless Services to use as temporary accommodation for families and individuals being bussed to ‘liberal cities’ from the borders by Texas and Arizona‘s fed-up governors. 

Staff at the hotel revealed the migrants would use a different entrance to tourists, possibly the trade entrance at the back, and be kept separate from other guests on floors allocated specifically for emergency accommodation. Security would likely be ramped up, too, they said. 

The staffers also said that while ‘nothing is set in stone,’ the staff ‘are all talking about it.’ 

It comes as migrant encounters at the border hit an all-time record. Last weekend, Customs and Border Protection’s migrant encounter tracker for Fiscal Year 2022 surpassed the two million mark for the first time in United States history. The majority of the fourth quarter is yet to come. 

Migrants arriving in New York City from the border will be housed temporarily in this luxury Manhattan hotel – the $700-a-night The Row in the tourist hotspot of Times Square, but they’ll be assigned to ring-fenced floors and will be told to use a separate entrance to the tourists being charged top dollar to stay there 

Migrants housed at The Row, where rooms cost up to $719 a night, will have classic Manhattan skyline views from their bedroom windows. Some migrants who spoke to DailyMail.com on arrival at NYC's Port Authority Bus Terminal from Texas said they were looking forward to seeing the sights

Migrants housed at The Row, where rooms cost up to $719 a night, will have classic Manhattan skyline views from their bedroom windows. Some migrants who spoke to DailyMail.com on arrival at NYC’s Port Authority Bus Terminal from Texas said they were looking forward to seeing the sights

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began sending buses full of migrants to Democrat cities including New York City and Washington, D.C., in protest at his state being ‘overrun’ and President Joe Biden’s ‘willful ignorance’ of the border crisis. Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey followed suit. 

So far, more than 4,000 migrants have already arrived in the five boroughs in recent weeks, putting a strain on the already-overstretched shelter system in the city. 

NYC Mayor Eric Adams issued a call to hotels step up to offer rooms to be used as temporary shelters. He initially announced that 1,000 rooms would be used as accommodation until shelter space or alternative arrangements could be made. 

Adams is now expected to announce a deal for the city to rent an additional 5,000 hotel rooms city-wide in the coming weeks. 

The cost of the deal has not been made public, despite repeated inquiries. Critics say it will cost millions of taxpayers’ money. A similar scheme to house the homeless in empty hotels during the pandemic cost $300 million in the city alone. 

In an opinion piece for DailyMail.com, May Mailman, a former legal adviser to President Donald Trump on immigration and social issues, wrote: ‘The cost to the city is likely a bargain. When I was in the Trump Administration, the price for one minor for one night was $775 in temporary influx housing. 

‘This housing, called ‘tent cities’ during the Trump administration but ‘pop-up facilities’ during the Biden administration, consists of massive air-conditioned tents for living, school, eating and play-time and security around the entire thing. And it sometimes costs more than that. Sometimes as much as $1,200, I was told in the White House.’ 

The trendy hotel is understood to be working with Mayor Adams to convert part of the hotel, up to four floors, into an intake center. The City announced that they would be renting out 1,000 rooms, like this one at the Row, to house the migrants but Adams is expected to announce plans for another 5,000 rooms to be rented for emergency accommodation in the coming weeks

The trendy hotel is understood to be working with Mayor Adams to convert part of the hotel, up to four floors, into an intake center. The City announced that they would be renting out 1,000 rooms, like this one at the Row, to house the migrants but Adams is expected to announce plans for another 5,000 rooms to be rented for emergency accommodation in the coming weeks

Popular with people traveling for business and pleasure, The Row - described on travel review sites as 'merging NYC's grit with grandeur' - will become a hub for housing migrants on the taxpayer's dime in the coming weeks

Popular with people traveling for business and pleasure, The Row – described on travel review sites as ‘merging NYC’s grit with grandeur’ – will become a hub for housing migrants on the taxpayer’s dime in the coming weeks

It is unclear exactly how many people will be residing in the rooms, which range in price from around $200 to more than $700 a night depending on amenities and size. Each has with free toiletries, and have stunning views of the city

It is unclear exactly how many people will be residing in the rooms, which range in price from around $200 to more than $700 a night depending on amenities and size. Each has with free toiletries, and have stunning views of the city

The Row's District M lounge is a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night. Its menu offers 'hand stretched' pizzas for $20, cocktails costing up to $19 each and a glass of champagne is $22

The Row’s District M lounge is a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night. Its menu offers ‘hand stretched’ pizzas for $20, cocktails costing up to $19 each and a glass of champagne is $22

One member of staff said they believed that the migrants would have several floors to themselves, and that they would not be on the same storys as paying tourists. Pictured is the hotel's communal workspace with six $2,000 iMac desktop computers

One member of staff said they believed that the migrants would have several floors to themselves, and that they would not be on the same storys as paying tourists. Pictured is the hotel’s communal workspace with six $2,000 iMac desktop computers

Visitors to The Row have access to a fully-equipped fitness center (pictured)

Visitors to The Row have access to a fully-equipped fitness center (pictured)

The trendy hotel has an in-house gift shop touting I Heart NYC merch. Staff said that there would of course be 'security concerns' around the arrangements, but added that they had been reassured that everything would be set up properly

The trendy hotel has an in-house gift shop touting I Heart NYC merch. Staff said that there would of course be ‘security concerns’ around the arrangements, but added that they had been reassured that everything would be set up properly

The Row, which is always very busy with tourists and travelling business people, struck a deal with the city after the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) issued a desperate plea for proposals last week

The Row, which is always very busy with tourists and travelling business people, struck a deal with the city after the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) issued a desperate plea for proposals last week

The hotel advertises link with Save the Children charity on the front desk

It also offers a selfie camera for anyone in the reception to use if they so wish

The hotel advertises link with Save the Children charity on the front desk. It also offers a selfie camera for anyone in the reception to use if they so wish

Staff at the sleek hotel have been warned to brace themselves for the influx of people but appeared to be struggling to check in tourists in a timely manner when DailyMail.com visited.

Staff at the sleek hotel have been warned to brace themselves for the influx of people but appeared to be struggling to check in tourists in a timely manner when DailyMail.com visited. 

Sources told DailyMail.com that up to four floors of the 28-story building, where hallways have trendy depictions of NYC street scenes (pictured above), will be given over to New York City's Department of Homeless Services to use as temporary accommodation for families and individuals being bussed to 'liberal cities' from the borders by fed-up Governors of Texas and Arizona

Sources told DailyMail.com that up to four floors of the 28-story building, where hallways have trendy depictions of NYC street scenes (pictured above), will be given over to New York City’s Department of Homeless Services to use as temporary accommodation for families and individuals being bussed to ‘liberal cities’ from the borders by fed-up Governors of Texas and Arizona

Staff at the trendy Times Square hotel revealed the migrants would use a different entrance to tourists, possibly the trade entrance at the back, and be kept separate from other guests on floors allocated specifically for emergency accommodation. Security would likely be ramped up, too, they said

Staff at the trendy Times Square hotel revealed the migrants would use a different entrance to tourists, possibly the trade entrance at the back, and be kept separate from other guests on floors allocated specifically for emergency accommodation. Security would likely be ramped up, too, they said

The room key holder at The Row reads: Your New York Story Begins Here

The room key holder at The Row reads: Your New York Story Begins Here

So far, Mayor Adams has announced that hotels in District Two, where The Row is located, were ‘opening daily and serving as shelters.’ He also announced that any children who travel across the border would be integrated into the school system and will receive supplies and backpacks.

It is unclear exactly how many people will be residing in the rooms but some of the smaller rooms, the standard and superior, won’t be able to accommodate more than two people. Rooms range from $189 for a standard room, $409 for a superior and $414 for a deluxe with a city view. A deluxe king room sets tourists back $499 a night. The most luxurious room, their executive suite, costs up to $719 and can have at least four people spend the night and enjoy a dining area with sofas, a flat screen TV and Wi-Fi, which comes complementary with all rooms.

In comparison, a studio apartment in the same area ranges from $3,000 to $8,0000. 

Anyone who is placed in the $700-a-night four-star hotel will be able to access its full facilities of a fitness center, tourist shop, fully stocked bar and top-of-the-range tech center, which is furnished with six $2,000 iMac computers. 

The hotel restaurant closed during the pandemic and remains shut, but the bar area is open to guests wanting to relax. Drinks there start at $13 each for Corona Light and other beers, while cocktails cost up to $19 apiece and $22 glasses of champagne. 

Staff at the sleek hotel have been warned to brace themselves for the influx of people but appeared to be struggling to check in tourists in a timely manner when DailyMail.com visited, though they were quick to assist with any queries and had some knowledge of the additional guests they would be housing.

Those working there already have some of the skills needed to take on board the new arrivals, with several speaking more than one language to help check in international guests.

They have been warned that preparations will start soon, and there will be an increase in security for the migrants, as well as the separate entrance.

One staffer told DailyMail.com: ‘They’ll come in a different entrance. You have to keep an eye on the refugees for security. It’ll probably be around four floors. 

‘Nothing has been sent yet but the staff are all talking about it. We gave four floors to another children’s shelter before a while back. Nothing is set in stone, but the staff are talking about it. The city hasn’t decided or said anything official. 

In new plans announced on Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams said that hotels in District 2, which is where The Row is located, were 'opening daily and serving as shelters.' He also announced that any children who travel across the border would be integrated into the school system and will receive supplies and backpacks

In new plans announced on Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams said that hotels in District 2, which is where The Row is located, were ‘opening daily and serving as shelters.’ He also announced that any children who travel across the border would be integrated into the school system and will receive supplies and backpacks

Immigrants from Texas who are bussed to NYC being received by the Mayor's Office at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on August 19

Immigrants from Texas who are bussed to NYC being received by the Mayor’s Office at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on August 19

A migrant man, who recently arrived by bus from Texas, walks with a volunteer to a waiting car outside Port Authority Bus Terminal on August 15

A migrant man, who recently arrived by bus from Texas, walks with a volunteer to a waiting car outside Port Authority Bus Terminal on August 15

‘This is a popular hotel, near to Times Square, so lots of people want to be staying here. They would probably keep them separate to the other guests; they would probably be kept on floors away from each other.

‘I think it is unlikely they could use all the facilities but depends what floor they are on, and nothing has been decided yet.

‘It’s done by the city, but the owners have around 16 other hotels around here so it could be this one or it could be another one. But the staff do know about it.’

Another member of staff confirmed they’d heard about the scheme, but nothing was being prepared yet.

They added: ‘The staff all know about it, but nothing has been officially announced yet. It might not even be this exact hotel, but that seems to be the way that it is going.’

The trendy hotel is understood to be working with Mayor Adams to convert part of the hotel, up to four floors, into an intake center. He recently said that New York would treat the migrants like Texas had not, 'with respect'

The trendy hotel is understood to be working with Mayor Adams to convert part of the hotel, up to four floors, into an intake center. He recently said that New York would treat the migrants like Texas had not, ‘with respect’

The hotel is just a few blocks from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where busloads of migrants sent from the borders have been arriving on a regular basis. 

It is unclear exactly how much The Row will receive for renting out the rooms – or what the total cost to the taxpayer will be of the 6,000 city-wide plan – but the cost of housing the homeless in empty hotels during the pandemic cost $300 million in New York City alone.

Front line staff and those who needed to quarantine were also accommodated at hotels across NYC. 

At that time, hotels were empty because borders were closed, travel was banned and there was no international tourism and little movement of people within the US, so hotel staff didn’t have to contend with looking after high-paying tourists at the same time. 

The Row has been offering discounts of up to 30 percent off its regular rates in recent months, as it attempts to get back to its pre-pandemic sales levels.  

A solicitation letter was sent on Wednesday by the Department of Social Services, detailing the request, but it did not specify which hotels will be used or the cost. 

Some New Yorkers reacted with anger to the news of the additional 5,000 hotel rooms. 

Andrea Catsimatidis, chair of the Manhattan Republican Party, tweeted: ‘NYC is looking for an extra 5,000 hotel rooms to house bused in migrants. So now we have illegal immigrants instead of tourists in our hotels. Imagine that impact on our economy, crime, and tax dollars.’ 

The NYC Hotel Association has said operators are ready to put up thousands of migrants to help the city’s housing problems.

Adams is seen at the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan on August 6, handing out supplies to the new arrivals alongside volunteers

Adams is seen at the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan on August 6, handing out supplies to the new arrivals alongside volunteers

Vijay Dandapani, president of the group representing nearly 300 hotels, likened the migrant crisis to the homeless shelter situation of the pandemic.  He told DailyMail.com: ‘Individual hotels who may or may not be our members could get involved in this, and in the past during the height of the pandemic, we were directly involved in moving people from homeless shelters to hotels.

‘We are there ready again, with our stakeholders in the city to do the necessary thing if that is what asked of us.

‘Everyone is doing this voluntarily it depends on how they view it. You are certainly not going to see the luxury five star hotels participant it but three or four starts as they did during the pandemic, may help as that market has not yet come back to pre-pandemic levels.

‘We ourselves are ready and we have done it in the past and we’ll do it again. It’s a dynamic situation early next week.’

The Hotel Trades Council, which represents 37,000 hotel workers, is also involved in discussions with hotel operators and City Hall.

Currently there are 125,000 hotel rooms across the city, with a current occupancy rate of about 80 percent, according to the union. There are as many as 25,000 unused hotel rooms at this time that could be used to help shelter the influx of migrants coming to New York.

The Row is accepting bookings through September and October on various booking sites with no disclaimer about the possible presence of immigrants.

Sources claim that the plan was fast-tracked in a bid to help deal with the surge of arrivals to the Big Apple, after more than 300 have arrived in the past two weeks.

The Row struck a deal with the city after the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) issued a desperate plea for proposals last week.

The department solicitation includes a request for bilingual staff and added: ‘The population served by the selected vendor will be families with children, adult couples and individual adults.’

City Hall did not respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment or to a FOIL request. Similar questions to The Row went unanswered. 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button