The days of the sleazy Courtesy Hotel casting a shadow of blight over West Hempstead have come to an end. Hempstead officials, local civic leaders and a progressive builder (Mill Creek Residential Trust) have collaborated to bring about the sale of the decrepit hotel and replace the structure with beautiful new rental apartments. The sale occurred on Thursday, February 10th.
"We at Hempstead Town Hall couldn't be happier for West Hempstead neighbors," said Town Supervisor Kate Murray. "Working closely with civic leaders in West Hempstead, we have shuttered the Courtesy Hotel and cleared the way for the purchase of the property by a top-notch developer. I can't wait to take a wrecking ball to that community eyesore and break ground on the beautiful new homes that will replace the hotel."
Supervisor Murray, along with Councilmen Ed Ambrosino, James Darcy and Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby spearheaded a proposal in November of 2008 that cleared the way for 150 "train commuter-friendly" apartment homes abutting the West Hempstead Railroad Station to be built. A ground-breaking new building zone was created, the transit-oriented housing zone, providing greater development density for constructions projects that encourage mass transit usage. In the case of the homes that will stand on the Courtesy Hotel site, they will provide apartments that will stand immediately adjacent to the West Hempstead Train (LIRR) Station. Town officials called the development a unique public/private partnership and applauded Mill Creek Residential's investment in West Hempstead.
"This project presents a unique opportunity to create homes that will perfectly serve the needs of workers who will be taking the train to New York City and Brooklyn on a daily basis," observed Darcy. "This development will also replace an unwelcome community eyesore with beautiful and needed development," added Ambrosino. "I am proud to have been part of the effort to create an innovative and progressive development zone that will address the interests of young professionals who want a beautiful home and convenient access to the city at the same time," mentioned Goosby.
Mill Creek Residential Trust will now move to demolish the Courtesy Hotel and improve the 3 acre site with the new four-story apartment home building and a 4,000 square foot amenity center and parking garage. Amenities will consist of a clubhouse with lounge and café area, state-of-the-art fitness center, video game/movie room, I-lounge, conference room, large landscaped courtyard with a swimming pool and sundeck and an outdoor gas fireplace and barbecue area.
"This development will represent the benefits of public and private collaboration," said Maria Rigopoulos, Vice President of Development in the Northeast for MCRT. " We want to thank the West Hempstead community for their tremendous support and patience, as well as the Town of Hempstead administration for their assistance in creating the necessary zoning to allow this type of commuter-oriented development to take place."
"When government officials, business and community residents work together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish," concluded Murray. "I want to extend a special thank you to Rosalie Norton, Past President of the West Hempstead Civic Association, for working with the town and Mill Creek Residential Trust to eliminate a blight on West Hempstead while helping us to create a very progressive and dynamic home development that will be a key component of West Hempstead's Renaissance."