Friday, September 9, 2016
Maspeth appears to defeat shelter plan without electeds' help
From the Daily News:
The co-owner of a Queens Holiday Inn that had been slated to become a homeless shelter said he wants out of the deal because the community opposition is too much.
Harshad Patel told neighborhood groups opposed to the Maspeth shelter that he wouldn’t go forward with the plans after they organized a protest in front of his home.
The protest was later nixed.
He confirmed he no longer supported the shelter to the Daily News on Thursday — and said he already told Acacia Network, the non-profit that had contracted with the city to run the shelter, he was done with the plan.
“The community doesn’t like it, so we decided not to move forward,” he said.
Calls to Acacia were not returned.
Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, said, “We’re going to celebrate, but cautiously.”
“We’ve seen things happen where someone tells us something is going to happen and it doesn’t,” he added.
A Twitter account linked to the Holiday Inn franchise posted Thursday that the deal was off.
“We would like to confirm that the Hotel will not be converting to a shelter as suggested. It will continue to operate as a Hotel,” the tweet said.
This is interesting, considering that yesterday the electeds met with the DHS Commissioner and were told that the plan was moving forward. Also, Queens Community Board 5 received an official "notice" letter from Acacia notifying them of their intentions.
protesting is actually what brought this development about, along with Tony Avella's letter to the US Attorney.
For added fun, Curtis Sliwa is showing up tonight at the hotel.