Community leaders fear a building project in Canarsie has all the makings of a sleazy, hot-sheet love shack — simply because it’s not a luxury hotel.
Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush), Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D–Midwood) and state Sen. John Sampson (D–Canarsise) held an emergency community meeting last week to discuss the three-story, 39-unit facility under construction on Foster Avenue between E. 59th Street and Ralph Avenue, which meets the city’s zoning requirements, but raised concerns that it could be a low-cost revolving door for undesirables due to its odd location in a mostly residential area.
“It’s likely not going to be a Hyatt, it’s likely not going to be a Radisson,” said Stephan Ringel, a spokesman for Councilman Williams. “There are concerns that this is going to be an hourly-rate hotel.”
Developer Viral Patel, who was out of the country and unavailable for comment, has the deck stacked in favor of him — the city allows hotels such as his to be built on Foster Avenue.
Architect Raymond Chan, who worked with Patel on a Comfort Inn project, dismissed concerns that the project was a hokey operation.
“I don’t believe it’s going to have an hourly rate,” he said.
Ringel said that Williams planned to meet with Patel next week, but was already forming a battle plan should the need arise. He said the councilman was willing to follow in the footsteps of disgraced former state Sen. Carl Kruger who successfully blocked another businessman 20 years ago from building an hourly-rate hotel in the neighborhood by monitoring the property, staging demonstrations and taking photographs of foot and car traffic coming and going from the hotel.
Community Board 18 District Manager Dorothy Turano said the next step would have been to involve the public.
“We would have distributed that information to the community,” she said.Reach reporter Colin MIxson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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