The Redbury hotel, a Manhattan landmark that’s home to two restaurants owned by Danny Meyer, will begin housing asylum seekers in partnership with New York City on Friday. The hotel is the latest Manhattan property to be repurposed as housing for asylum seekers as the city struggles to address an influx of at least 90,000 migrants from the southern border since last spring.
A spokesperson for Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, Katie Reisert says the change will not impact operations at Maialino (vicino) or Marta, the hotel’s restaurants. Maialino, a restaurant and wine bar that once operated out of the Gramercy Park Hotel, opened at the Redbury last fall. Marta, a pizzeria, opened in 2014 when the hotel was the Martha Washington: The building was purchased for $158 million in 2015 and rebranded as the Redbury the following year.
“We look forward to welcoming our new neighbors and assisting the hotel with this initiative,” Reisert said in a statement.
The Redbury is one of several hotels working with city officials to house migrants. The Nomad hotel has 259 rooms. As of Thursday morning, its online service used for booking rooms was closed for all dates after August 3. Eater has contacted the hotel for more information.
A court mandate requires the city to provide shelter to anyone who needs it. The ruling has been put to the test in recent months after the Biden administration lifted a pandemic-era restriction on immigration, which allowed the government to deport migrants in border states to Mexico. Immigrants from Texas, Arizona, and other states are now seeking asylum in New York City, even as officials claim the city has run out of room.
In response, city officials are turning to hotels that closed during the pandemic or are struggling to bounce back. Midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel was turned into an arrival center for migrants in May. The Watson Hotel, near Central Park, is listed as “temporarily closed” online while it houses migrant families during the crisis.
Mayor Eric Adams has called the situation a “humanitarian crisis.” His office previously estimated that “thousands” of new migrants could be arriving in the city each day. “It’s not going to get any better,” the mayor said at a press conference on Monday. “From this moment on, it’s downhill. There is no more room.”