A $20 million, 156-room hotel that would rest atop a three-story parking garage could be replacing an aging municipal lot in the Village of Lynbrook.
Developer Lee Browning Sr., owner of Ronkonkoma-based Browning Hotel Properties, met with village officials late last month to present several conceptual plans for the proposed Courtyard by Marriott on the site of a 1-acre commuter parking lot at the corner of Langdon Place and Broadway. Browning is working on a full, site-specific rendering of the six-story hotel that he expects to put before the village board next month.
"The village is endorsing the project, and we have signed [an agreement] with the village for the property," said Browning, who has been trying to build on the lot for nearly four years. "We're on track."
In January, the village and Browning signed an agreement that requires the developer to first get certain building and environmental approvals, as well as meet specific criteria, before a lease for the village-owned property can take effect.
The three garage floors would have space for about 300 parking spots for commuters, hotel guests and staff. About 200 of those spots would be reserved for commuters, doubling the amount of spaces currently available at the lot.
Over the next eight months, Browning will have to get an environmental impact study for the project, obtain permits and participate in a public hearing concerning the rezoning of the lot. "If he does those things, he will get a lease on the property," Mayor William Hendrick said last week.
As part of the agreement, Browning will provide shuttle bus service between the neighboring Long Island Rail Road station and alternative village parking lots while the combination hotel-garage is under construction, said Jack L. Libert, special counsel to the village.
While Browning has been working on developing the lot for a handful of years, his attempts to build a hotel in Lynbrook go back at least a decade, he said.
"This is the fourth site we have tried to get approved in Lynbrook," said Browning, who is also chief executive of Sayville Browning Properties. Past proposals for the village have either fallen through or were met with opposition from residents.
If the lot is not developed by Browning -- or another developer, if he is not approved -- the village will have to spend between $300,000 and $350,000 to resurface the lot. "If this fails, we'll have to do what we'll have to," Hendrick said.
If the Marriott is approved and built, the village could gain revenue from hotel/motel taxes.
Browning owns several hotels on the Island, including a Courtyard by Marriott in Ronkonkoma and the Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead. He is currently constructing a Hilton Homewood Suites in Ronkonkoma, and has received approval for a Marriott Residence Inn in Riverhead.