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De Blasio defends plan for homeless shelter near Central Park


Mayor de Blasio defended plans to open a homeless shelter on a tony street a block from Central Park — saying his administration was following its procedure for notifying neighborhood officials.

“The notification process that we laid out about a year ago is what we’re following now,” de Blasio said of his plans to turn the former Park Savoy Hotel on W. 58th St. into a permanent shelter facility for 150 single adult men.

De Blasio rolled out a policy of giving at least 30 days’ notice before opening new shelters when he first pledged to open 90 throughout the city last year.

A spokeswoman said officials were notified on Jan. 9. But Councilman Keith Powers said he first learned of the shelter from constituents — and only heard from the Department of Homeless Services after he called them.

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“We want to be able to share as much information with our community and our constituents about any project happening,” Powers said. “We don’t want to find out from them and then be chasing the details of the problem afterwards.”

De Blasio said Tuesday that a radio station — referring to 1010 WINS, which first reported about the shelter — may have scooped his notification process.

The mayor's plan would convert the former Park Savoy Hotel on W. 58th St. into a shelter for 150 single adult men.

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“If an enterprising radio station figured it out ahead of the normal notification process, kudos. But the notification process was going to begin on the timeline that we announced previously,” he said.

Powers, too, said even though he only got notice after calling DHS, it was still well ahead of the 30-day requirement. The opening date for the shelter is unclear.

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De Blasio has argued every neighborhood in the city should do its share. The shelter site is around the corner from a Ritz Carlton hotel and just a block away from the obnoxiously tall One57 luxury skyscraper.

De Blasio said the neighborhood had “done very well” — though he initially referred to it as the East Side before a reporter corrected him.

“They also have to participate in this effort to ensure that we have enough shelter,” de Blasio said.