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Pan Am Shelter Can't Build Kitchens Because It Can't Get a Loan: Operators

 The Queens Boulevard shelter provider said it has been unable to get a loan for construction.
The Queens Boulevard shelter provider said it has been unable to get a loan for construction.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

​ELMHURST — The shelter provider at the former Pan Am hotel has gotten a six-year contract extension from the city — despite saying it can't build the mandatory kitchens for each unit because it can't get a loan to fund construction.

Samaritan Village Daytop's Boulevard Family Shelter got its extension bid approved by the city's Human Resources Administration on March 17, as well as an additional $10.5 million through the end of June — which includes $4.8 million for rent at the former hotel. 

That brings the total contract amount for the shelter to $26,431,554 each year — but still doesn't include the cost of building kitchens in each of the rooms, which last year was part of the mandatory requirement before a contract extension could be approved.

The city said last year that it will pay for the renovations needed to turn the shelter into a Tier 2 facility, and Samaritan Village was required to lay out a timeline for the work. 

Samaritan Village has been delayed since it hasn't been able to receive a loan "due to the lack of registration for this work," a letter states. 

A Department of Homeless Services official said work on the 216-room hotel's kitchens will begin this July, with 100 units finished by July 2018. The rest will finish by 2019. it was not immediately clear where the money for the kitchen construction would come from in light of the operator's issues with getting a construction loan.

The 216-room hotel now only has capacity for 198, as the 18 other rooms are being used for administrative offices, an official said. 

“We will be extending the contract for this location by six years starting July 1, 2017 as we implement our borough-based approach to providing shelter for our homeless neighbors, who come from every community across the five boroughs," spokesman Isaac McGinn said.

However, an official in the comptroller's office said they haven't received the six-year contract extension and would not be able to approve it for fiscal year 2018 until July. 

The building was purchased by 7900 Development LLC in 2013, which is owned by Steven Berger, who operates other shelters, records show. 

A spokeswoman for Samaritan Village did not respond to multiple requests to comment.