Appeals court paves the way for homeless shelter in ‘Billionaires’ Row’

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Mayor Bill de Blasio’s planned homeless shelter smack in the middle of Midtown Manhattan’s “Billionaires’ Row” can proceed, New York state’s highest court has ruled.

For three years, a group of local residents have stalled the shelter, which the city planned to open at West 58th Street’s former Park Savoy Hotel. They sued in 2018 on the grounds that a shelter at the century-old building would be a safety hazard.

On Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals found that a lower appeals court “erred” in sending the case back for a hearing to determine whether the shelter — which is set to house 150 homeless men — would be up to safety and welfare standards, according to the decision.

The shelter will be back-to-back with One57 — the most expensive high-rise in the city, where computer tycoon Michael Dell has a $100 million condo.

“We appreciate the court’s affirming the city’s determination to provide New Yorkers experiencing homelessness with shelter at this site and look forward to opening our doors at this location as soon as possible,” Department of Social Services spokesman Isaac McGinn said in a statement.

“We’re confident that working together with our vital not-for-profit social service provider partners and neighbors, through support and compassion, our clients will be warmly welcomed as they get back on their feet here and we will make this the best experience it can be for all during these challenging times,” McGinn said.

City Law Department rep Kimberly Joyce said, “This decision clears that path for opening a resource-rich shelter that New Yorkers desperately need. We are pleased that the Court applied core principles of administrative law to bring this misconceived lawsuit to an end.”

A lawyer for the residents — who filed suit under the West 58th Street Coalition Inc. — did not immediately return a request for comment.

The ruling marks the end of the line for the lawsuit. 

There is no higher court to appeal to in the New York state system and it doesn’t involve a federal issue — a requirement to get to the US Supreme Court.

Additional reporting by Julia Marsh

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