Assemblyman William Colton and Councilmember Susan Zhuang are launching a task force to prevent the construction of a homeless shelter at 86th Street and 25th Avenue in Gravesend.
A demolition permit has been issued for 2501 86th Street, Assemblyman Colton told a crowd of protesters who gathered at the site on Sunday afternoon.
“We will fight this homeless shelter as we successfully fought ones on Bath Avenue and Kings Highway, and working together, we will win,” Colton said.
A total of 14,000 petition signatures opposing the shelter has already been gathered. Assemblyman Colton urged protesters to write or call city officials to express their opposition to the shelter.
The developer for the shelter is Tejpal Sandhu of 86th Street NY LLC, who was the developer behind the shelter originally planned for 2147 Bath Avenue. Colton claimed that the parent company, the Sandhu Group,builds hotels to then lease them to the city at a cost of thousands of dollars per resident per month, which is funded by taxpayer dollars.
Sandhu has filed papers with the city’s Department of Buildings to construct a 32-room hotel with a community facility attached. The city notified the prior councilmember for the area that it plans to use the site as a shelter for 150 single men, many of whom struggle with addiction or mental health issues.
“This does not benefit the neighborhood and it does not benefit the homeless people,” Colton said. “It’s a terrible location for a shelter, in a main business district surrounded by residential areas, and near churches, mosques and schools. By opposing this shelter, we are helping homeless people.”