2012-08-31 / Editorial/Opinion

Six-Story Hotel Inappropriate

The choice of Edgemere for a transient hotel to house flight crews and passengers on layover at John F. Kennedy Airport is a curious one. First of all, there are presently two hotels that serve the airports needs, one in the five towns and the other in Howard Beach, both much closer to the airport than Rockaway. Second, as pointed out by local residents, the area where the hotel is to be built is a new residential area, struggling for its identity and to get the amenities it needs – stores, restaurants and the like, not a six-story hotel that will draw shuttle buses, trams and lots of strangers. Most curious is the statement by the owner of the proposed hotel, who told the Daily News that the hotel would be in the La Quinta chain and “People who want to go to Manhattan can stay [in Rockaway] and instead of paying $300 [a night] they will pay $150.” Rockaway is a long way from Manhattan and the idea of a $150 hotel on the peninsula for people who want to visit Manhattan strikes a false chord. Locals wonder what will happen to the facility should the planned airport visitors not work out. Like many facilities in Rockaway that did not meet expectations, it could quickly become a hot-sheet hotel, a Section 8 residence or some sort of city halfway house. Edgemere is best left a residential area for now. Perhaps a beachfront hotel in another section of the peninsula would be nice, but a six-story chain hotel in the middle of Edgemere makes no sense and the city should quickly take back the land that is mapped as part of the Edgemere Urban Renewal Area and build something that will enhance the neighborhood, not destroy it.

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