The former employees of the Clarion Hotel, located at 94-00 Ditmars Blvd. in East Elmhurst, which is closed as of Monday, are asserting that the space will be turned into a homeless shelter.
Emma Ballestaros, a longtime employee, Flushing resident and representative for the Local 6 Union, which serves hotel workers, said many believe that the hotel will be converted into a homeless shelter and have been spreading word in the community.
“We knew through our ex-general manager that his intention was to convert to a shelter,” she said of the new owner.
The new owner, Shimmie Horn, a hotel operator who owns shelters in the city, reportedly bought the hotel in February and Ballestaros said that fueled workers’ beliefs that the space would house homeless.
Around then, Ballestaros said employees were informed of the June 1 closing and had plans to tell nearby residents to be ready to protest, if needed.
Christine Lee, another former employee, echoed Ballestaros.
“Everyone seems to know,” she said, adding that at a staff meeting months ago, they were given letters indicating the building would be called “The Landing.”
A Department of Homeless Services spokesperson said Wednesday that they “currently have no plans to use the site.”