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Now-empty $42M NYC WeWork office building offered up as emergency migrant shelter

Former WeWork building considered for emergency migrant shelter
Former WeWork building considered for emergency migrant shelter

A 16-story building in the Garment District formerly occupied by now-bankrupt office space sharing provider WeWork has been offered up as an emergency shelter for migrants.

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration confirmed that the landlord of 315 W. 36th St. has proposed converting the building into a city humanitarian emergency response and relief center for asylum seekers.

A City Hall spokesperson said it had received the proposal, but that it was “not under active consideration.”

The 16-story building was formerly occupied by WeWork. James Messerschmidt
The 16-story building was formerly occupied by WeWork. James Messerschmidt
Mayor Eric Adams’ office confirmed that the landlord proposed using the empty building as an emergency shelter. James Messerschmidt
Mayor Eric Adams’ office confirmed that the landlord proposed using the empty building as an emergency shelter. James Messerschmidt

The commercial portion of the Garment District building became vacant after WeWork failed to make rental payments and filed for bankruptcy last fall, while the property owner, Walter & Samuels, defaulted on a loan on the property, Bisnow reported.

The value of the building was appraised at $42 million, down from $127 million five years ago, the New York Times reported in November.

The property is located between Eight and Ninth avenues. Tabernacle Steakhouse, a Kosher eatery, is listed as a retail tenant at the same address.

It’s not surprising that the Adams administration has entertained using even vacant commercial space to house the relentless surge of migrants arriving in the Big Apple.

New York City has assisted thousands of migrants seeking shelter. REUTERS
New York City has assisted thousands of migrants seeking shelter. REUTERS
A City Hall spokesperson says the landlord’s offer is not being seriously considered, despite the migrant crisis. Helayne Seidman
A City Hall spokesperson says the landlord’s offer is not being seriously considered, despite the migrant crisis. Helayne Seidman

Last spring, The Post revealed the city’s economic development officials were scouring real estate listings and contacting brokers inquiring about the availability of space in a desperate bid to find sites to shelter thousands of new arrivals.

Sources in the real estate community said reps from the city Economic Development Corporation had emailed and called them about the availability of vacant office space after checking listings of companies seeking to lease or sublease.

The city has assisted, sheltered and fed some 200,000 migrants in 200 shelters since the border crisis exploded in the spring of 2022 — including many in Big Apple hotels temporarily converted into emergency sites.

The border crisis has exploded since 2022, creating an urgent need for migrant housing. James Keivom
The border crisis has exploded since 2022, creating an urgent need for migrant housing. James Keivom

The rental contracts with the hotels alone are projected to exceed a staggering $1 billion.

The mayor, in some cases with the blessing of Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Biden administration, has opened massive tent cities at Randall’s Island, the state-owned Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens and Floyd Bennett Field, a national park in Brooklyn.

Walter & Samuels declined to comment.