Groudbreaking for Putnam's first hotel on target
Putnam County Courier
January 31, 2008

CARMEL-Putnam County's first hotel will break ground around April 1 and that's no joke!

Developer Paul Camarda told the Courier last Friday: "A lot of people have remained as doubters but we will break ground this spring. All approvals are in place. Not it's buttoning up a few issues."

Last fall, Camarda paid more than $740,000 in back taxes on the 183-acre parcel of land off Route 6 near the Carmel-Southeast line that will be home to the $25 million Staybridge Suites 120-room hotel.

Camarda reflected: "It took 12 years for this project to reach fruition. It was on Valentine's Day 1996 when the project was conceived. Now within the next 60 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 soon see a hole in the ground. 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 more than 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 façade 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.

Camarda has spoken with representatives of Texas Longhorn Steakhouse, Applebee's and Ruby Tuesday for possible inclusion in the proposal but he said restaurants would not commit to the Carmel project until construction begins on the hotel.