Hotel developers are suddenly facing new hurdles to building in protected industrial zones, and they’re looking further afield for cheap sites – right next to the border with Long Island, in fact. YIMBY spotted building applications for two hotels at 1021 and 1025 Beach 21st Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, near where the elevated A train tracks end.
The area is zoned for heavy commercial uses, like car repair shops, but hotels and other forms of retail are allowed. And the city prohibits residential development there, ensuring that the property remains cheap.
At 1025 Beach 21st Street, plans call for a three-story hotel with 33,987 square feet of commercial space. There would be 59 rooms, including seven each on the two cellar levels and 15 per story on the first through third floors. The cellar would also have a gym, lounge area, breakfast rooms, and meeting rooms.
Next door, a five-story hotel will hold 89 rooms across 33,987 square feet of commercial space. The layout would be the same as 1021 Beach. Each of the two cellar floors would have amenities and seven rooms, and the first through fifth floors would hold 15 rooms apiece.
The developer is Amritpal Sandhu, based in Cedarhurst, N.Y., and he’s hired Jamaica-based architect Manish Savani to handle the design.
The development site stretches 34,000 square feet between Mott and Cornaga Avenues and includes four vacant lots. The Far Rockaway A train stop is only a block or two away, which might make this location attractive to travelers coming from JFK. Sandhu picked up the big site for only $1,520,000 last December.
The hotels will also rise in an Empire Zone, the state-run equivalent of the city’s Industrial Business Zones. Businesses who operated in these areas could apply for special state tax benefits, but indications are that the program was shut down in 2010.
And like the rest of the Rockaways, this project is located inside Flood Zone 1. The permits didn’t offer any flood-proofing measures for either building, and mechanicals would be located in the cellars, where they would be easily damaged during heavy rains or flooding.