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Businessman set to propose hotel along river in Patchogue

A Patchogue restaurant owner says he wants to

A Patchogue restaurant owner says he wants to build a hotel to help bring more visitors to the village's downtown, seen here on Nov. 4, 2017. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

A local businessman is set to propose a small, four-story hotel along the river in south Patchogue, an idea that officials say they are approaching with caution and intrigue.

Mike Bruemmer, owner of the Off Key Tikki restaurant on Baker Place, presented a rendering and outlined his plans to construct the 55-room hotel next to his establishment in a private meeting with Village Mayor Paul Pontieri earlier this week, officials said.

Bruemmer, in an interview Friday, said he is scheduled to publicly discuss his project at the May 22 village planning board meeting. He said the 24,000-square-foot project would cost $2 million.

Village officials have been lobbying for a hotel the past few years, but prefer one downtown on West Main Street, where many families dine and young adults bar hop. The Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts is also downtown.

The proposal was unexpected, and some village leaders are taking a cautious approach to building a hotel away from main attractions.

Pontieri said he is intrigued by the proposal, but doesn’t know if a hotel along the Patchogue River, about a mile from downtown, will thrive in the winter months when the tourism is down.

“That’s what I want to find out. The concern is what will happen in November, December and January when it’s 25 degrees outside and you’re on the water,” the mayor said. “I would only settle for it if it can survive. The worst thing that can happen is if it doesn’t sell in the winter months because we want it to be a successful project.”

Bruemmer contends the hotel would be at 95 percent capacity in the summer months, 75 percent full in the winter and that visitors would still have access to the pleasures of downtown along with the Long Island Rail Road and the ferry to Fire Island.

The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce backs the hotel, which would also have six condos for purchase on top of the building and a catering hall in its basement.

“I’ve always said the next step for Patchogue is to have lodging,” David Kennedy, executive director of the chamber, said Friday. “It gives Patchogue a very legitimate option for someone looking to spend the weekend on Long Island.”

Bruemmer said he owns the property where the hotel would be built at the intersection of River Avenue and Baker Place. Village officials said he would need to demolish a garage that sits on the lot to make way for the hotel.

In addition to the planning board, Bruemmer would also need permits from the zoning, architectural and review boards and approval from village trustees. An environmental study must also be conducted.

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