An East Side Feed reader who lives next door to the Bentley Hotel (500 East 62nd Street) recently learned it would be taken over by the city.
“I live next door to the Bentley. I typically have family and friends stay there when they are visiting,” reader Mark wrote. “My inlaws tried to book a room there for this upcoming weekend and they were told that the hotel would be closing indefinitely. I was bummed so I went over there this afternoon and asked what the deal was. A manager told me about the city taking over the hotel due to sanitation issues.”
After several calls, a hotel employee told us the property will soon be converted into a sanctuary for families.
A spokesperson from the Department of Social Services (DSS) confirmed the site, providing us with the following statement: “We have a legal and moral obligation to provide shelter to all who come to us in need, and in order to meet the unprecedented demand for shelter services on the ground, our teams have worked around the clock to procure emergency shelter capacity across the City. We have utilized, and will continue to utilize, every tool at our disposal to ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of each individual and family that comes to us seeking shelter.”
The Bentley Hotel is owned by Stuart and Jay Podolsky (via “Amsterdam Hospitality Group”), who’ve been at the center of controversy for years. The Bentley was also one of the many New York City hotels which the city paid to house homeless shelter tenants during the pandemic.
“I was notified by the Mayor’s office that DHS will be contracting with a provider to establish this facility for families and children,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “We will work with the administration to ensure adequate resources are given to support those in need.”
After following up for more information, a representative from Menin’s office added that “the service provider will be Highland Park and that it’s a short term contract with DHS. It will be 197 Rooms for families with children.”
It’s currently unclear when the building will begin admitting new residents, but we’ll provide an update once we learn more.