hotel project on table
The Journal News
CARMEL - The owner of a site planned for a much-anticipated
hotel and conference center is ready to inch forward
in his project by signing agreements with the Putnam
County Industrial Development Agency next month.
Construction of the Staybridge Suites complex with
123 rooms plus a banquet hall, though, isn't expected
to begin in the spring and might be done in phases
rather than all at once, said Albert L. Salvatico,
president of Jaral Properties on Long Island.
"We're moving forward in our planning," he
said, strongly emphasizing the word "planning." "We
want to keep things going with the Putnam County
agencies, and that is where we are at this point."
Salvatico said construction might begin with the
hotel rooms first, followed by the restaurant and
catering facility later on. He said he didn't have
a start date in mind and had not closed on the construction
"We're dealing with a tough economy, and things
are going slower than we had wanted," he said.
The closing with the IDA was postponed twice, most
recently on Friday.
In October, Salvatico said that he couldn't guarantee
the hotel would happen and wrote to the IDA that
the project was on hold. In June, he had said high
oil costs and other economic factors would stall
- and possibly change or eliminate - some of the
more expensive aspects of the construction, such
as a stone facade and grand entrance portico.
Salvatico now says he wants to keep IDA incentives
on the table, and Jaral is completing some construction
work on the 12-acre site off Route 6 near the Carmel-Southeast
border. Jaral's crews have extended water an sewer
lines into the parcel, since areas were already excavated
for a rough roadway and basic connections.
Salvatico has said that so far he has invested at
least $3 million in what would be Putnam's first
hotel - $2 million to purchase the land and $1 million
for engineering and planning costs. He said he anticipates
it would take about $23 million to construct the
suite-style hotel and he has been discussing a loan
with Mahopac National Bank.
The project received town approval in June 2007.
Jaral Putnam LLC is expected to officially accept
an offer from the Putnam County IDA and Economic
Development Corp., which persuaded the hotelier to
come to the county.
The quasi-public agency, which tries to entice businesses
to locate or expand in Putnam, offered a standard
state incentive package - a 50 percent reduction
in school, town and county property taxes for the
first year and sliding-scale reductions for nine
additional years; an exemption from the mortgage-recording
tax; and tax-exempt bonds and sales-tax exemptions
for equipment or materials bought in conjunction
with the project, the IDA said.
"We are glad they are moving forward to a closing,
which provides some time limitations," said
IDA President Burt B. Houseworth. He said tax reductions
and exemptions are not open-ended and must begin
within a year or so after signing the agreement.
A developer must act on the project or risk losing
the offer and be required to reapply, he said.
Carl Albano, a longtime Carmel resident and owner
of Albano Insurance, said he has high hopes for the
Carmel hotel. He said a developer with money should
begin construction as soon as feasible.
"People need jobs and are eager for the work," he
said. "And, hopefully a hotel begun now will
be open for business as the economy turns around."
The Garden City-based Jaral hotel development company
purchased the land from Carmel developer Paul Camarda's
Hudson Valley Realty Corp. Camarda plans to build
Gateway-Summit, with 137 townhouses for senior citizens,
retail and office space, and a YMCA, next to the
A second hotel, a 40-room Best Western that would
also receive IDA financing, has been proposed for
the Route 121 site in Southeast where the Fox Ridge
Motor Inn and Keltie's Bum Steer restaurant had been
before they were destroyed by a deadly propane explosion