Billionaires’ Row NIMBYs lean on Cuomo to stop shelter

Residents have spent more than $150K lobbying to prevent homeless shelter
June 14, 2019 10:00AM

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher's Randy Mastro (Credit: Getty Images)

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s Randy Mastro (Credit: Getty Images)

The state agency responsible for giving the green light on a homeless shelter on Billionaires’ Row won’t open the doors as wealthy neighbors mobilize with lawsuits and lobbyists in Albany.

The West 58th Street Coalition is leaning on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state officials in an attempt to stop the approval process on the application submitted in 2017, The City reported. The politically-connected group is represented by Randy Mastro, a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher who was deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani and has built a reputation as a litigator who has locked horns with the city and state on numerous occasions.

Though the group has not submitted any state-level lobby filings, the West 58th Street Coalition has spent more than $150,000 on municipal lobbying efforts. Court records show that for all of the members of the coalition, the fight is personal: they all live near the proposed shelter site.

But Mastro and another attorney representing the group made their case directly through a letter to the deputy commissioner of the OTDA and Cuomo just one day after a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Alexander Tisch rebuffed the group’s appeal. The appeal claimed that the building was not up to codes. [The City] — Georgia Kromrei