Once the site of the city’s first airport, Floyd Bennett Field will soon be home to asylum seekers.

Mayor Eric Adams announced on Friday that the city and federal government had come to an agreement on the location in South Brooklyn of Jamaica Bay.

What You Need To Know

  • Mayor Eric Adams on Friday announced that Floyd Bennett Field, a former airport, will be used as an emergency shelter for migrants

  • The location is the first federal site to house migrants

  • City officials say up to 2,000 migrants will be housed at the location in Brooklyn

“New York City has entered into a lease agreement with the federal government that allows us to use Floyd Bennett field as an emergency site to shelter some of the more than 113,300 asylum seekers who have sought our care since the spring of 2022,” said Adams in a press release announcing the agreement.

The site will hold up to 2,000 migrants, according to city officials.

The lease term will be for one year and the monthly rent will be $1.7 million. Under the terms of the lease, the city, who will be reimbursed by the state will pay the first three months up front and the city will be able to use 30 acres of land at the location. The total cost of the agreement is over $20.8 million.

Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier in the day hinted that work on the site could start as soon as next week.

“I was on the phone with the White House until very late last night talking about the fact that on Monday, they will be standing up a facility, our state facility, in New York. We welcome them. Our team, the Department of Labor, will be sitting next to them as we process them and move people through the system,” said the governor at an unrelated press conference on Friday before the official announcement was made.

Hochul said the use of the site is a sign that all levers of government are finally working together.

“I want to give a chance for this to work. I think we’re going to start seeing a change in numbers fairly soon because now there is a concerted engagement with the federal government with us to just manage the problem,” said Hochul.

But while Adams said that he’s grateful for the new site, he criticized the overall federal response.

“Further, as I have said before, because we haven’t seen meaningful policy changes that would alter the course of this crisis, we’ve been forced to unsustainably open new site after new site as asylum seekers continue to arrive by the thousands. This is not an adequate solution or any sort of long-term plan by the federal government to this national problem,” said the mayor in his statement.

The approval came on the same day that a delegation of Congress members toured an asylum seeker arrival center in Midtown.

The tour, which lasted about an hour, was led by Representatives Adriano Espaillat and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“What we saw there were children, families, people that want to work, people that are fleeing violence, people that are fleeing environmental disasters. We see so many stories, so many heartbreaking stories manifest itself here,” said Espaillat at a press conference outside the Roosevelt Hotel.

Federal officials say they left the tour with clear objectives including getting the city additional financial assistance, expediting work authorizations and extending Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans who make up a majority of the migrants.

“The faster the folks can access the work they are asking for legally, the better we can solve this problem,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who was shouted down at the press conference by anti-immigrant protesters.

Separately, the city on Friday also dropped its court cases against some upstate counties to force them to take in migrants.

It may be a sign that the city is retreating on its push to send migrants outside the city.