From the Queens Chronicle:
Developer Rajendra Patel says the key to a successful business is building a strong relationship with the community, and that’s what he plans to do as he pursues his latest venture, a seven-story hotel in downtown Jamaica, scheduled to open in 2013.
Patel bought the site, a 75-by-84-square- foot vacant lot at 89-34 162 St., in 2007, for $2.1 million, submitted plans to the city’s Department of Buildings the following year, and obtained work permits from the agency about two months ago.
The hotel, a Comfort Inn, which is expected to cost between $7 and $8 million, will feature a breakfast area, fitness and laundry rooms, and a storage area. It will have 72 guest rooms and is expected to provide between 10 and 20 jobs for area residents with experience in the hospitality industry, Patel said.
Patel said he chose the location because it will provide a moderately priced option for visitors, is located between two major airports and is close to the Jamaica Avenue business corridor, where transportation, shopping, food and entertainment are readily available. But not everyone thinks it’s an optimum spot for such a business.
“It seems like an odd location,” said CB 12 Chairwoman Jacqueline Boyce. “Although I have not met with the developer yet for discussion, I wonder who would stay there. It seems to be a location that’s away from our major airports and might not attract people that are traveling for an overnight or week’s stay.”
Adjoa Gzifa, three-term immediate past chairwoman of CB 12, expressed similar sentiments, adding that hotels are better suited to main commercial strips. She believes that if the business were to fail, the owner would probably sell the land to the city and it would be turned into a homeless shelter — something that usually happens with unwanted properties in the district, which is already saturated with such facilities, according to Gzifa.