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Mayor Adams makes surprise visits to migrant centers

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Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday stopped by two Manhattan migrant sites — the former iconic Roosevelt Hotel and Times’ Square’s landmark Candler Tower — to meet with asylum-seekers and get quick tours.

Adams ducked into the Roosevelt in Midtown at 11 a.m., was given a general walk-through of the 1,000-room facility and greeted some migrants along the way during his roughly 45-minute pit stop, sources told The Post.

The site, at East 45th Street near Grand Central Terminal, had been closed for nearly three years before being recently transformed into an intake and housing center to help the city with the surge of migrants that have arrived over the last year during the country’s border crisis.

Adams’ spokesman, Fabien Levy, confirmed to The Post that the mayor made an unannounced visit to the Roosevelt — adding Hizzoner also stopped by the Candler Tower, which once housed the world’s busiest McDonald’s, on West 42nd Street.

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Mayor Adams, pictured Saturday, made an unannounced trip to the Roosevelt Hotel Sunday morning.
Mayor Adams made an unannounced trip to two city migrant centers Sunday.
Europa Newswire/Shutterstock

The Candler high-rise became vacant during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the city to snap it up to house the flood of incoming migrants.

Levy said his boss’s stops were part of the mayor’s continuing push to visit the city’s new migrant centers to inspect them and boost morale among workers and volunteers.

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“The mayor wants to make sure everything is OK – that the migrants are being taken care of — and he wants the staff and volunteers to know that he’s got their back,” Levy said.


The hotel, which has been vacant for three years, has been transformed into a migrant-intake center.
Adams stopped by the former Roosevelt Hotel-turned-migrant center to check on the facility and morale.
Robert Miller

An employee at the Roosevelt, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told The Post on Sunday that Adams has previously visited the site, as well as other intake centers.

“He’s seeing where the tax money is going,” the worker said before a security guard arrived to say that employees are not authorized to speak on the matter.  

While many of the migrants staying at the hotel appeared to be unaware of the mayor’s visit, several spoke with The Post about their stay since the center opened last month.


The iconic hotel is poised to provide 850 rooms for migrants to live in.
The Roosevelt is now processing migrants and housing some families.
Aristide Economopoulos

Several migrants staying at the center said they're looking for work, while others have no plans to relocate.
Several migrants staying at the Roosevelt said they are looking for work, while others have no plans to relocate.
Robert Miller

One woman who identified herself as Alena, 38, of Chile said her family arrived at the hotel two weeks ago and are enjoying their stay.

Migrants at the center have access to legal, medical and reconnection services and can also be placed in another shelter or humanitarian relief center if wanted.

Alena said she is currently looking for a job in hopes of finding a home she can rent with her husband and their two kids.

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Despite the amenities at the Roosevelt, she noted that there are problems with the toilets, which appear to be unable to flush at times.

“The bathrooms have a problem. You use them, but your need doesn’t go down,” she said. “You have to pour water with something else, but if you ask them to fix it, sometimes people come to help you with it.”


The city has seen a need for more migrant centers following a surge of immigration in the past year.
The city is in dire need of more housing for migrants as the country’s border crisis continues.
Christopher Sadowski

Another migrant described the hotel as “really nice, comfortable [and] clean,” saying she feels right at home.

The migrant, who only identified herself as a 37-year-old from Jamaica, added that the hotel was not currently overcrowded and that she didn’t have plans to relocate.

The city reopened the Roosevelt Hotel as a migrant center with 175 rooms dedicated to families, with plans to continue renovating until 850 rooms are available.

An additional 100 to 150 rooms will be reserved for migrants before transitioning to other locations.

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