The Marriott Residence Inn being developed within the parking lot of the Jericho Commons shopping center just earned yet another victory.
Fourteen months after the Town of Oyster Bay Town Board approved the permit for the hotel, the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is following in its path.
The IDA on July 9 approved a massive benefits package for the hotel. Nassau IDA Chairman Richard Kessel said Twenty-Six Sunset LLC will receive a 20-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement. This means taxes will be frozen for the Marriott for the first five years. From the sixth year on, the PILOT payments will be $192,700 to taxing jurisdictions, versus the current $91,000 in taxes.
“This project will be an economic driver in the Town of Oyster Bay and will provide synergy with area attractions and businesses and also will attract visitors heading to area colleges,” Kessel said in a press release.
Twenty-Six Sunset LLC is run by the Hauppauge-based hotel developer John Danzi. Danzi’s group applied for the benefits package in December 2018, but the higher construction costs meant a new application this year. The reason for the higher cost is due to the group’s use of a unionized construction firm.
The Marriott will have 93 rooms. The Jericho Commons shopping center is owned by the New Hyde Park-based Kimco group.
The hotel awaits permits to begin construction, which will create approximately 100 construction jobs, as well as 33 full-time slots once the hotel opens.
“I’m pleased to see the IDA providing crucial support for a development in one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, which is hospitality,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “This project promises 100 construction jobs and 33 full-time permanent jobs and is a positive sign about bringing visitors back to our hotels and destinations.”
But getting to this point was not an easy journey for Twenty-Six Sunset LLC and Kimco.
Residents were worried about the influx of traffic the multiple-floor hotel would have on the area. The hotel will be based just off Routes 106 and 107, and people were also worried about the possible infringement of privacy for those whose homes are adjacent to the future hotel. However, the homes next to the proposed site of the hotel are already shielded by a fence and several trees.
Once the project received approval from the Town of Oyster Bay, Jericho Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shapiro was ecstatic.
Most of all, he believes, the project will save the famed Milleridge Inn.
“There’s a big shopping center next to the Milleridge Inn,” Shapiro said. “You can’t tell me it’s going to create mayhem. It’s going to be respectful. It’s a small hotel, not a big one. You’re not building the Marriott Marquis up there. It basically works for the local community.”
A petition presented at a public hearing last year included more than 1,000 signatures against the hotel’s construction.
The Milleridge Inn, along with the Milleridge Cottage, sits on the front portion of the property. However, the parking lot is large enough to accompany the hotel that will have less than 100 rooms.
Usually, the town code forces property owners to have at least 2,128 parking spaces for a project like this. But the applicant, at the time, requested a variance from the town since they will be 552 spots short.
Should the parking situation be insufficient, Kimco might have to create more parking spots on the property’s empty areas.
The developer will also plant evergreen trees that are about 10 feet high in order to block any potential cases of people looking onto the properties adjacent to the hotel.
Though additional traffic is still a concern for local residents, Shapiro explained that the Milleridge Inn makes Thanksgiving dinner for more than 2,000 people each year and traffic is never a concern then.
“You’re telling me no one ever complained about that, but now, they’re complaining that 100 people are going to stay at a hotel and there’s going to be a traffic problem,” Shapiro said. “They have car shows there and different events, and no one’s ever complained before.”