Transient Hotel To Be Built In Rockaway
“People are in a panic,” said Steve Cooper, a resident of the area and a member of Community Board 14, in a call to The Wave on Monday.
The site located at 43-17 Rockaway Beach Boulevard is currently surrounded by a tall wooden fence. While it is impossible to see inside the site, there are four building permits posted on the outside. All were issued this month, and three mention they are for work on a six-story transient hotel.
Jonathan Gaska, the district manager of CB 14, first found out about the site when Cooper contacted him on Monday. “It looks like they have the preliminary permits,” said Gaska. “I asked [the Department of] Buildings to do an audit to see if they meet the building code, parking, [and more]. There seems to be some discrepancies in the permit. That’s why I asked for the audit. If it is ‘as of right’ they [the developer] did not have to tell the board.” Gaska did point out that a transient hotel is a zoning term and the hotel may not be a bad thing.
Cooper informed Gaska that he was told the hotel would be for pilots and stewardesses. The Wave, however, has not been able to confirm this. “Over a decade ago a developer proposed the same thing by Roy Reuther Houses [near Beach 9 Street],” said Gaska.
There are three main categories of hotel – transient, resort and residential. Transient means someone – a guest or boarder – who is staying a brief period of time, which would cover most people who stay in hotels.
In the meantime, Gaska said he would ask the developer to meet with local residents. According to the New York State Department of Finance, the owner of the property is 44 Rockaway Beach LLC. DataFax, a construction website, lists the owner as Superior Van Wyck Hotel, LLC owned by Amritpal Sandhu. The Wave has not yet been able to contact them about the site.
According to the Department of Buildings website, once a project is approved a 45-day challenge period commences. The plans are posted on the DOB website for public comment. There were no challenges to the hotel construction. “Nobody told us,” said Gaska. “If we would have known, we would have challenged the project.”