A Syosset-based development group is hoping the hotel industry will be fine on Long Island amid the coronavirus pandemic and is proposing to build a 101-room hotel in East Farmingdale.
Farmingdale Hospitality Partners LLC wants to construct a 4-story Hampton Inn & Suites near Route 110 and Michael Drive, not far from Republic Airport. Farmingdale Hospitality Partners is a joint venture group between Blumenfeld Development Group of Syosset and Oxford Hospitality of Jericho.
Jonathan Cohen, a principal at Blumenfeld Development Group, said the group built the Regal United Artist Farmingdale & IMAX theater nearly 20 years ago.
“Obviously, it’s a little early to tell the long-term effects the pandemic is going to have on the hotel industry, but at this stage we’re still optimistic that the industry will come back,” Cohen said.
The proposed hotel would be built at the site of the former Skydrive Golf Center, across the street from two Marriott properties that offer a short-term stay or an extended-stay option.
The Babylon Town Board on Wednesday tabled both the rezoning application from Farmingdale Hospitality Partners and adopting a resolution to issue a negative State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, declaration on the project until the Aug. 5 board meeting. Town officials want to meet again with local civic groups before making a decision.
The developers are seeking variance relief from the Babylon Town Zoning Board of Appeals, including changing the lot area from 3 acres to 2.14 and the lodging unit density from 1,500 square feet to 925 square feet. Though only a 3-story building is allowed, developers said last month that they’ve submitted a letter to the Babylon Town Board from the Federal Aviation Administration, which approves the construction.
Developers for the group are requesting a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, deal with the Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency. In the application, the group said it expects to add 45 jobs over three years at an average salary of $35,000.
Local leaders see adding a hotel as vital not just for the region but for the town. In Babylon Town, there are 10 motels and one hotel, said town spokesman Kevin Bonner, noting that the pair of Marriott properties is counted as one by the town’s department of planning and development.
Kristen Jarnagin, president and CEO of Discover Long Island, a tourism promotion agency that champions the region, said with the revitalization of downtown Farmingdale, adding nearby accommodations would support big events such as the PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black golf course.
“The economic impact of these bustling downtowns are paramount to the livelihood of many small businesses across the Island, and the demand for hotels within these neighborhoods positively impact the destination during this time of need,” Jarnagin said in a statement.
Joseph Garcia, president of the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, said a new development like a hotel is a “great” sign for the region.
“People are willing to invest in the COVID-19 era,” Garcia said. “I think there’s an appetite because there’s a shortage of hotels.”
Amenities and perks
The proposed Hampton Inn & Suites will:
- Have 101 rooms
- Create 45 jobs over three years
Sources: Babylon Industrial Development Agency, Town of Babylon