A Courtyard by Marriott seven years in the making quietly broke ground in Westbury in mid-May.
The $27.6 million project, jointly owned by Westbury developer Piermont Properties and Franklin, Tennessee-based hospitality management company Chartwell Hospitality, will add to an already abundant supply of similarly priced accommodations in the area.
"We're excited to be [in Westbury] since there's high barriers" to enter the Long Island market, said Will Schaedle, Chartwell's acquisitions and development manager. Chartwell will manage the hotel when it opens. This will be the company's first hotel on Long Island; it manages the Hilton New York at Kennedy Airport.
The 145-room Courtyard, which caters to business travelers, is expected to be completed in September 2015. It's located at Merrick Avenue and Privado Road in Westbury -- right next to an office building owned by Piermont.
It took nearly seven years for the hotel to reach the construction stage. Deciding on a hotel business for the land and getting the approvals in place added to the time, said Michael Grey, a partner at Piermont.
The project was also approved for a tax incentives package from the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency -- including a sales tax exemption on $22 million of project costs, a $189,593 mortgage recording tax exemption and a 10-year property tax abatement.
The area around the hotel, near the Roosevelt Field mall, is already saturated with hotels, said Mike Johnston, a principal at Plainview-based Concorde Hotel Group, a hospitality-focused consultancy.
"Where's the demand coming from? That's always the question," he said.
Johnston pointed to a Hilton Garden Inn across the street from the Courtyard site, a Holiday Inn down the street on Old Country Road, and a Homewood Suites which opened in nearby Carle Place last year among the lodging options already in the area.
Grey, however, said he was not worried about competition.
"We've done our homework and are comfortable that the market demand is there," he said. "We're also very comfortable with the Marriott brand and their customer loyalty [program] that drives occupancy."