First Hotel Conversion to Begin in New York

A pandemic-era program designed to streamline the conversion of hotels into housing stalled, with the first project just now making its way through the pipeline.

1 minute read

May 5, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A $150-million proposed conversion of a Hilton hotel near Kennedy International Airport is set to be the first project under the state’s hotel-to-housing conversion program, which was created during the tourism slump of the pandemic as one way to address the city’s growing housing crisis but, one year later, failed to lead to any new housing units.

Although the program was designed to help create more housing quickly, Mihir Zaveri explains in The New York Times, “Developers claimed it would not do enough to help them overcome onerous regulations, and that the $200 million attached to the program was not enough to compensate for development costs on a large scale.”

According to Zaveri, “Of the 318 total units, roughly 60 percent are slated for people struggling with homelessness. The remaining units would target lower-income households — those earning up to $107,000 for a family of four, for example — with rents of about $1,250 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,500 for a two bedroom.”

The Hilton project is slated for completion in two years, during which the developers will make renovations to rooms, heating systems, and other components. “About $48 million of the $150 million will come from the state program, initially created in 2021 by the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act.”

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in The New York Times

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