Sanders Meets With Homeowners
Updating residents on the issue, Sanders said the owner Amritpal Sandhu said he would increase parking spaces from two to 25, put a restaurant in the hotel and expressed his willingness to meet with a small group of community members to discuss the issue.
“The developer is responding to you,” said Sanders.
Though termed a transient hotel on Department of Buildings permits, Sandhu said the hotel will be part of La Quinta Inns and its clients will be airline personnel and visitors to Rockaway.
Sanders also addressed how the city’s Department of Housing & Preservation Development dropped the ball when it failed to buy a parcel of land meant for the Edgemere Urban Renewal Area that was instead sold to Sandhu. It is a wrong that probably cannot be righted. The developer would want the city to pay for the land, plus whatever monies were put into the development. “The city doesn’t do that,” said Sanders at the August 28 meeting. “The city will only buy it at assessed value – how much the land was worth.” The councilman said the developer is unwilling to take such a loss.
A La Quinta representative issued the following statement to The Wave: “The hotel in Rockaway is a franchised hotel and we support the property owner, Mr. Sandhu, who is an experienced hotelier and currently owns several quality hotels in urban areas,” said Teresa Ferguson, the director of public relations. “We believe this La Quinta Inn & Suites will not only enhance the area but also be an asset to the community by bringing jobs and offering quality lodging to business travelers and family and friends traveling to Edgemere.”