Sunday, January 29, 2012
Everyone wants to get into the act
The City University of New York is planning to build a hotel in Long Island City, Queens, to enhance its schools' hospitality programs.
CUNY is looking for a hospitality consultant to evaluate a 91,000-square-foot lot it owns at 28-02 Skillman Ave. which is part of its LaGuardia Community College campus, for potential hotel use. The selected consultant will help CUNY analyze the feasibility of a hotel project in light of the current commercial real estate market, review zoning of the site and explore financing options for such a project. The consultant would also ultimately assist CUNY with preparing a request for proposal seeking a developer/hotel operator to partner with and build the project.
“We realized we have a number of programs in the hospitality area and when we explored expanding these programs, one good element is to have your own hotel where students can train,” said Iris Weinshall, CUNY vice chairman responsible for facilities and real estate planning and development. “We hope to hear back from folks, soon, and are very excited about moving forward with this project.”
The parcel of land, bounded by Skillman Avenue to the north, 29th Street to the east, 47th Avenue to the south and 28th Street to the west, is zoned for up to a 600,000-square-foot development. That means there would be no need for the school to go through the lengthy city approval process to obtain a zoning change on the site, according to Ms. Weinshall, who added that CUNY does not plan to build a hotel that large.