Camarda seals deal on Carmel hotel
Putnam County Courier
November 1, 2007

Carmel - Putnam County's Donald Trump - developer Paul Camarda - walked into the Putnam County Office Building with a check for $741,800.29 in his hand.

Minutes later back taxes were paid on a 183-acre parcel of land off Route 6 near the Carmel-Southeast line that will allow for the construction of a $25 million Staybridge Suites 120-room hotel.

Camarda explained during his visit last week to the Finance Department office the check was for back taxes on the property because the former owner was in bankruptcy protected by the Bankruptcy Court. "Because of this legal maneuver the prior owner was protected from Putnam taking foreclosure action," he said.

Camarda's check paid all taxes, penalties and interest. An additional check for $14,000 was written to settle previous unpaid scholl tax bills.

Camarda sat back and reflected: "It took more than 11 years for this day to come. It was on Valentine's Day 1996 when the project was conceived. Now within the next 60 to 120 days, ground will be broken."

When asked if he thought the day would ever come, Camarda smiled and replied: "I thought I would be a much younger man."

Camarda predicted within two years the hotel will be completed. "Those who said it would never happen will see a hole in the ground next spring. The hotel will be built followed by a YMCA, restaurants, retail, professional offices and some senior housing. I am delivering after promising the public that I would deliver after a referendum was approved six years ago," he said.

Jaral Properties of Garden City, Long Island, will be constructing the hotel that includes a canopied entranceway, an elegant stone facade and a two-level lobby.

Plans also call for a walkway path over a bridge to a restaurant along with beautiful plantings.

Camarda wants Putnam visitors to no longer travel to greater Danbury, southern Dutchess or northern Westchester for lodging. "The residents spoke years ago yet it's taken an inordinately long period of time for the approvals to go through on the local level," he said.

Camarda said residents were "eagerly waiting for the construction since the proposal will result in great tax benefits for the community as well as a hierarchy of new jobs - hotel managers, catering directors as well as hotel staff. The hotel will be a great resource to both local residents and local businesses which need a hotel in this county."

Camarda said the project "serves a variety of market needs. The project is the best of both worlds. We're not talking about a 'vanilla-ice-cream-basic-cookie-cutter' hotel being stamped out across America. Staybridge Suites, a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Hotel chain, is designing the multi-million dollar facility specifically for Carmel and Putnam county." Guests will have the opportunity to recline in studios, one bedroom rooms, two bedroom rooms or suites.

The Intercontinental group is known for its five-star hotels worldwide including the John Hopkins in San Francisco and the Barclay Hotel in Manhattan.

Carmel Councilman Robert Ravallo has called the proposal a "good project. I will do my best to make sure that it happens. A hotel will come to Carmel."