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Closed Plainview hotel may return to its roots as senior housing

A Washington, D.C., developer proposes to buy the Residence Inn by Marriott on Gerhard Road for $20 million and spend $11 million to convert it to 111 apartments for the elderly.

A developer has proposed converting the Residence Inn

A developer has proposed converting the Residence Inn by Marriott in Plainview, pictured here in October before it closed, to senior citizen housing. Photo Credit: Danielle Silverman

A recently closed hotel in Plainview may return to its roots as senior citizen housing, if Nassau County grants tax breaks to the property’s prospective owner, officials said.

The 170-room Residence Inn by Marriott at 9 Gerhard Rd. would be converted to 111 apartments for the elderly under a proposal from Capitol Seniors Housing.

The Washington, D.C.-based developer has offered $20 million for the closed hotel and plans $11 million in renovations, according to a preliminary application for tax incentives from the county's Industrial Development Agency.

The property, owned by Plainview developer Donald Monti, was home to Central Park Elementary School before the construction of Greenbriar senior housing, which opened in 1988 with 100 units.

Greenbriar became a hotel after about a year because of the dearth of seniors able to afford monthly apartment rents that averaged $2,000 in 1989. In October, the hotel’s management company said it had lost the Marriott franchise, would close for renovations, and hopefully reopen in about a year under a new name. Eighty people lost their jobs.

Capitol Seniors has requested millions of dollars in tax breaks over 20 years from Nassau and on Thursday the IDA's board of directors agreed to negotiate with the company.

Daniel P. Deegan, a real estate attorney representing Capitol Seniors, said its Plainview complex will offer meals, laundry service, housekeeping and transportation — but no medical care.

“This is independent senior living, not assisted living,” he told the IDA board. “This product is in short supply on Long Island.”

Deegan said Capitol Seniors will charge monthly rents of $4,000 for a studio, $4,750 for a one-bedroom apartment and $5,750 for a two-bedroom. He said these rents are thousands of dollars less per month than those of two nearby competitors.

“Without the IDA’s assistance,” said Deegan, “the potential monthly rents that we’re talking about for these seniors would not be possible.”

Records show Capitol Seniors would employ 38 people who would earn, on average, $39,500 per year.

Nassau Legis. Arnold W. Drucker (D-Plainview) said the community doesn’t need more senior apartments because there are four assisted-living facilities nearby, including one that received Nassau IDA aid. He said tax incentives should go toward affordable housing for young workers.

“This is something that’s not necessary,” Drucker said at the monthly IDA board meeting. “We have enough assisted-living facilities . . . I don’t think this is worth your time.”

IDA board member John Coumatos disagreed, saying the agency has a responsibility to help longtime residents remain here. “They grew up in Nassau County, they’ve lived their whole life here,” he said. “We have to take care of our seniors.”

IDA board chairman Richard Kessel told the legislator, “I hear you. I don’t totally disagree . . . We want to get more input from the community.”

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