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Maspeth Hotel Owner Cancels Homeless Shelter Plans Amid Community Outcry

By Katie Honan | September 9, 2016 8:47am
 The city is eyeing a Holiday Inn on 55th Road, near Maurice Avenue, as a shelter for adult families. 
The city is eyeing a Holiday Inn on 55th Road, near Maurice Avenue, as a shelter for adult families. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

MASPETH — The operator of a Holiday Inn slated to be converted into a homeless shelter said he is backing away from his agreement with the city — citing vociferous opposition from the community.

Officials at the hotel near Maurice Avenue first announced the change on its official Twitter account.

"We would like to confirm that the Hotel will not be converting to a shelter as suggested," the Thursday tweet read. 

"It will continue to operate as a Hotel."

Owner Harshad Patel also spoke to PIX11, saying he didn't want to go against the community, which has organized nonstop protests since the plan was announced.

"We have decided not to go against the community as of today," he told the station Thursday. 

Hotel management reportedly also sent a letter to community members saying the constant protests had hurt business and urged them to stop. 

A spokesman for the Human Resources Administration, David Neustadt, said the city didn't have anything to report yet.

Elected officials sued the city on Sept. 1 over what they said were administrative code violations for the shelter plan. 

Earlier this week, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey announced the shelter's original opening date was pushed back after she spoke with Mayor Bill de Blasio and HRA Commissioner Steven Banks.