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The building that used to house Sheepshead Bay’s famous afternoon delight motel is swapping bed sheets for loose-leaf, as a Turkish-owned private school will be ringing the morning bell there next fall.
The Brooklyn Amity School, which has classes for children from kindergarten through 12th grade, will be moving from its much smaller home on Coney Island Avenue between Avenue Y and Dunne Court, and could be ready to accept students at the former Golden Gate Motor Inn on Shore Parkway at Knapp Street in September, according to city records.
Amity currently serves 200 students, but it may be able to increase its enrollment inside the sprawling, 144-room hotel, where interior walls will be torn down to make classrooms that can fit more than just a queen-sized bed.
Unlike most city schools, Brooklyn Amity will also have a hotel-sized pool, which was once enjoyed by Golden Gate guests.
The Golden Gate Motor Inn, which was a notorious spot for “short-stay” service, closed on Dec. 26 because of “bad business,” according to owner Harshad Patel. Patel, who bought Golden Gate Motor Inn in 2006, sold the building to Amity for $15.5 million — $100,000 more than he paid for it, according to city records.
Patel refused to confirm the sale, saying only that “we are still working it out and no money has exchanged hands yet.”
Amity officials could not be reached for comment.
Some say that Patel has always wanted to get his sprawling Golden Gate Inn property — which takes up nearly an entire city block — out of the hotel business. Shortly after he purchased it, he proposed converting the hotel into four, seven-story apartment buildings. But he dropped that plan after the community complained that it would bring too much traffic.
Some residents agreed that the 46-year-old Golden Gate had gone downhill, but had hoped that a high-end hotel would open up in its place.
“The fact that we didn’t get another quality hotel at such a great location right near the Belt Parkway is a major loss for Southern Brooklyn,” said Steve Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group, which held its meetings in the Golden Gate for nearly 20 years.
Barrison added that he “heard nothing but good things about the school” and even knew some students’ parents, but is concerned that Amity’s new location would also cause traffic safety issues.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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