A luxury Manhattan hotel once touted as the “Lullabuy of Broadway” will soon be providing beddy-bye to hundreds of asylum-seeking migrants, The Post has learned.
Mayor Eric Adams plans to convert the Row NYC — formerly known as the Milford Plaza and located in pricey tourist-packed Times Square — into an intake center and shelter for as many as 600 migrant families amid the city’s spiraling homelessness crisis, three sources familiar with the matter said.
“In a month or two, we’re about to open up for [the city Department of Homeless Services], for homeless,” a hotel staffer told The Post on Monday.
“They’re working on an agreement, a contract,” the worker said of the plan, which is designed to help handle homeless border-crossers bused to the city from Texas.
“It’ll be here at this hotel, but they’ll keep the DHS shelter on a certain floor. But that hasn’t started yet, they said a month or two.”
City Hall hasn’t said what the hotel plan may cost or provided any other details about it, including who exactly will run the operation.
An Adams administration rep told The Post on Monday only that the city has extended its deadline for receiving bids from entities interested in operating the massive undertaking at the hotel “to get a range of responses.”
The deadline for submitting bids is Wednesday, the representative said.At the stately Row NYC on Eighth Avenue between West 44th and West 45th streets, guests are greeted by a scene similar to those at red-carpet events, with a carpeted section of sidewalk at its entrance and stone steps inlaid with decorative lights. A vinyl banner at the top of the stairs features the hotel’s logo — adding to the perfect setting for tourists and guests to snap selfies and other photos.
The Internet lounge in the lobby offers six sleek iMac computers that provide 30 minutes of free Web surfing. There also is a third-floor fitness center with treadmills, elliptical machines, recumbent bicycles and free weights.
Even “standard” rooms boast “understated city chic” decor, including “graphic wall coverings and bold colors,” as well as high-speed WiFi and 32-inch, flat-screen LCD TVs with cable programming, according to the hotel’s website.
The daily weekday rate for a standard room with one full or queen bed in mid-September — around when the hotel could begin housing migrants – – ranges from $414.42 to $435.07 per night, including taxes and “facilities fees” and depending on the view.
“Superior” rooms with two double or queen beds for families, and featuring decorations “inspired by the NYC subway system,” range in price from $445.40 to $547.41, including taxes and fees.
A one-bedroom “executive suite” promises “stunning” views and “elevated decor for an undeniable notable experience,” all for a non-refundable nightly rate of $724.24 with taxes and fees included.
The city’s plan involving the Row NYC was fast-tracked to try to help address the ongoing surge of asylum-seekers to the Big Apple, with the city striking the deal with the hotel after DHS quietly issued a desperate request for proposals last week, sources said. The DHS’s move to try to snag a location more quickly was exclusively revealed by The Post.
“The population served by the selected vendor will be families with children, adult couples and individual adults,” according to the department’s Aug. 4 solicitation, which includes a request for bilingual staff.
Row NYC, at 700 Eighth Ave., is a 28-story, 1,300-room building located about three blocks north of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been sending busloads of migrants to protest what he calls President Biden’s “irresponsible open border policies.”
The migrants are being released into the US to seek asylum in immigration courts after being stopped by Border Patrol agents, either at established border crossings or after entering the country illegally.
Last month, Adams revealed that the city’s shelter system was being overwhelmed by migrants, some of whom The Post revealed were directed to New York by federal immigration officials despite having no relatives or other ties here.
When the hotel operated as the Milford Plaza, it made a name for itself during the 1980s with memorable local TV commercials that featured actors dressed as hotel workers who sang its praises to the tune of “Lullaby of Broadway” while answering phones at the reception desk, carrying bags and presenting food flambe.
Its $43-a-night rate per person at the time included a cocktail, dinner and breakfast, according to a video recording posted on YouTube.
The bargain price led the hotel to use mock marquee lights to advertise itself as Broadway’s “LULLABUY” — and have the singers emphasize the final syllable to help drive home the point.
The hotel was sold for about $200 million in 2010 and reopened in 2014 as Row NYC.
The hotel’s “District M” cafe, which features live music on Thursday through Saturday nights, has a menu that offers meat or cheese boards for $23 each or $36 combined, as well as salads for $14 or $17 each — with grilled chicken available for an extra $8.50 — and pizzas for $28 or $29.
Drinks start at $13 each for Corona Light and other beers, while cocktails cost $23 to $25 and bottles of red or white wine range from $15 to $84 and Champagne is available for $98.
But the hotel is apparently starved for business, with its Web site offering discounts of up to 30% off its regular rates and online prices as low as $111 a night.While it’s unclear what the Row will receive for renting out its rooms to the city to house homeless migrants, the previous de Blasio administration inked a deal during COVID that cost nearly $300 million to put up those without housing in such hotels. The average room rate at the time, when hotels were floundering, was $120.
Row NYC was among the hotels used to house homeless during the height of the pandemic, according to City & State New York, which first reported it was under consideration as a shelter for migrants.
Hotel guest David Carpenter, 74, a tourist from Tennessee, told The Post on Monday, “I wouldn’t come back to this hotel if there were migrants staying here.
“If they secured the border like they should, the migrants wouldn’t be here in the first place,” he added.
Other guests said they weren’t troubled by the plan.
Tourist Jennifer Hacking, 39, of Reno, Nev., said the migrants have “been through a lot, need somewhere to stay, and I actually think it’s pretty decent of the Row.
“I would gladly stay in the same hotel as new migrants,” Hacking said. “It’s my first time in New York but it won’t be my last.”
Flight attendant Tania Carrara, who was staying at the Row between assignments, also said, “It’s better that the migrants stay in a hotel than a homeless shelter.
“These people have a lot of problems, it’s good they will have somewhere comfortable,” Carrara said.