Pakistan International Airlines profits off New York City taxpayers and refugees via a curious deal with city officials involving housing in a dilapidated hotel.
Pakistan International Airlines Sells Shelter To Refugees In New York City…At A Cost of $220 Million
Republican governors have bussed Central American refugees to New York City and dumped them, taunting the Big Apple for being a “sanctuary city.” With real estate markets already stretched thing, New York City cut a deal with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to lease The Roosevelt, a Manhattan hotel that it owns, in order to house refugees.
The Roosevelt, named after President Theodore Roosevelt, opened in 1924 and was a well-known landmark of New York City for decades. It was a watering hole for world leaders and hosted many heads of state during United Nations visits. The hotel features 1,025 rooms spread over 19 floors.
In 1979, the hotel was leased to PIA. In 2000, PIA and Saudi Prince Faisal bin Khalid jointly bought the hotel. Unable to manage the upkeep, the hotel closed during the pandemic and fell into a state of disrepair. But PIA, which has retained its 99% share, shrewdly leased it the dilapidated New York City…at a cool cost of $200/room per night.
850 rooms are full of refugees. In fact, most rooms have 4-5 people in them. Repairs are not being made and the front of the hotel has been repeatedly vandalized. Police also have more or less a permanent presence there.
But rather than condemn the building as inhabitable, New York City will pay PIA $220 million over the three-year lease period for the use of these rooms. That’s quite a good ROI for PIA considering the entire building is only valued at about $600 million in its current state of (dis)repair.
I have to hand it to PIA for its shrewd investment an deal it cut with New York City concerning the famed Roosevelt Hotel. Maybe instead of flying planes, PIA should go into the housing business…
I am reminded of the infrastructure issue I brought up last week, but there really is no easy issue for dealing with the refugees and asylum seekers who are already within US borders.
image: Roosevelt Hotel // H/T: View From The Wing