By Chris Boyle.
The Village of Lynbrook hosted a preliminary informational hearing on Monday for a new project - a 156-room Marriott Courtyard hotel, which, if approved, could potentially revitalize the downtown Lynbrook area.
The deal between the Village and Browning Hotel Ventures, the principal behind the proposed hotel, is currently far from a reality; however, Monday’s meeting was the first public step in a process that could eventually be a great boon to the Lynbrook community.
Jack Libert, Special Zoning Council for the Village, explained how Browning Hotel Ventures first tried to acquire the infamous Feather building, located on Broadway just north of the Lynbrook train station, for the purposes of their hotel; however, the owner of that property, which has been unused and in a dilapidated stated for many years, refused to sell, he said.
It was then that Browning decided to turn their attention across the street to the municipal parking lot located at Langdon Place, which is owned by the Village. According to Libert, this was met with far more open-mindedness. Before proceeding, the Village wanted the public’s opinion first.
“They first presented this idea to the Village Board in Executive Session several months ago,” he said. “The Board’s feeling was that, before we go through the steps of an agreement with them and zoning hearings and things like that, which takes a lot of time and money, the Board wanted to get a sense of the community about this project.
Len Garden of LMG Realty Associates, a representative of Browning, was on-hand at the meeting to explain and describe the development of the Marriott Courtyard, and field any questions from local residents.
“Browning Hotel Ventures proposes to
re-develop the existing Langdon Village parking field, which is a rectangular
parcel approximately one acre, located at Langdon Place,” he said. “We wish to
develop it into a 156-room hotel and structured parking facility to serve the Lynbrook downtown
Garden explained that the project would be privately funded to the tune of $25 million, and would require no public monies. In addition to the taxes the hotel would pay to the Village, the proposed lease agreement, based on occupancy of the hotel, would generate approximately over $200,000 a year for Lynbrook as well, he said.
The estimated height of the building would be in keeping with other buildings in the area, at about 70 feet (six stories).
Garden described another potential benefit to the people of Lynbrook that the hotel would create. In addition to replacing all of the existing public parking spaces of the Langdon field and creating another 96 to accommodate hotel guests, the covered parking garage they would build would provide an additional 110 brand-new public spaces; this would account for a total of 306 parking spots.
The Marriott, whose construction would take between 18 to 20 months, would also bring jobs to the area and increase foot traffic to local businesses, Garden said.
“There will be 200 construction jobs, mostly from Long Island labor,” he said. “Following construction, the hotel will have 65 employees, and preference will be given to Lynbrook and Nassau County residents, and following completion, we will rely on local contractors for carpet cleaning, exterminating, painting, and a host of services that this hotel will require.”
There will also be new sidewalks, lighting, and landscaping, and the hotel itself will provide meeting rooms and banquet halls that could be used for any number of events by local businesses, community groups, and the public, according to Garden.
Deputy Mayor Alan Beach pointed out that, while the deal on the hotel was far from done, the Village saw a great many positive benefits to the community be the inclusion of this new business.
“Nothing is in stone yet,” he said. “However, we believe that this is a good thing to look into...we feel there is a lot of possibility here for us, and I think it’s a good plan right now, until we find something that makes us feel otherwise.”
Resident attitudes at the meeting regarding the hotel were generally positive, and public questions mainly centered on clarification of parking and construction plans.
If the Marriott Courtyard deal progresses, a series of public hearings will be held to keep the Lynbrook community informed of the details of the development process.