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Plan for hotel on Stony Brook campus controversial

Sign for controversial hotel planned for Stony Brook

Sign for controversial hotel planned for Stony Brook University campus.

Despite an unresolved legal dispute about a planned hotel on the Stony Brook University campus, a Virginia-based resort developer says it plans to open a Hilton hotel on campus by fall of next year.

Crescent Hotels and Resorts, with corporate headquarters in Fairfax, Va., lists its hotel building plans for the Stony Brook Hilton on its website and on a sign on campus, giving Fall 2012 as the expected opening date.

No details on the Hilton were made available on the sign, or the company website, but past conceptions of the hotel specified a five-story building on an 11-acre parcel of university property near Nicolls Road.

The sign on campus says that construction is "commencing."

"Hilton Garden Inn Stony Brook University, construction commencing opening fall 2012," the sign says. It lists owner-developer, SBHC Private Equity IV Llc; architect and engineer, Holzmacher, McLendon & Murrell;  construction manager Aurora Contractors Inc.

Contacted by telephone at their Virginia office, the company declined to comment.

A Stony Brook University spokeswoman did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the proposed hotel; and for comment on the statements made on the campus sign.

On the campus website, the university says the hotel is needed "to accommodate the thousands of guests and visitors who attend university events and activities every year."

Some students, faculty and environmental activists oppose construction of the hotel, which critics say will raze part of a green belt and harm a local salamander habitat.

The Stony Brook Environmental Conservancy and others filed suit in 2009 against the State University of New York, seeking to void the ground lease -- first approved by the State Legislature in 1986 -- arguing the lease had expired in 1990, and the university had not abided by its terms. Conservancy members could not immediately be reached for comment. 

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