A controversial shelter may be coming to Greenpoint after all — and it may be even worse than the original plan.
A city hotelier bought a McGuinness Boulevard loft building that was previously slated to become a homeless shelter — and his plan is to turn the site into a halfway house for convicted felons, sources said.
New owner Shimmie Horn not only owns luxury boutique hotels in Manhattan, but also several single-room-occupancy lodges in the city and once ran a Florida correctional services business, which operates facilities for formerly incarcerated individuals.
It’s unclear what Horn’s plan is for the McGuinness Boulevard building; a source said that it is unlikely that he would run a shelter there.
The Department of Homeless Services remains strongly interested in bringing a shelter to the McGuiness Boulevard loft building and helped lure Horn to buy the site for $4 million, sources said.
The building’s tenants were bought out for nearly $600,000, ending a protracted negotiation that lasted almost six months — and clearing the way for a new proposal in the now-vacant building.
Community leaders were livid that the plan may be revived.
“It’s an even bigger problem” than HELP USA’s assessment center and vowed to fight it, said Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee Chairman Mieszko Kalita.
“People [being served] are coming out of federal prison with offenses for murder, drugs — the big stuff,” said Kalita. “They didn’t just steal hubcaps from some car on the street.”
Horn could not be reached for comment before our lockdown deadline.
©2011 Community News Group
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