New Hotel Under Construction In Castle Hill Has Some Residents On Edge, But Is There Cause For Alarm?

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Another hotel is rising in The Bronx, this time in Castle Hill at 2338 Bruckner Boulevard. The Days Inn Hotel, which is scheduled to open some time next year, will have 60 rooms, a conference/meeting room for business travelers and a breakfast / lounge room for guests.

But some local residents are not happy with the location of the hotel, fearing it would turn into another hot sheet motel like the infamous Capri Motel which recently shuttered its doors and is now serving as a homeless shelter.

As a Bronx resident, born and raised, I can thoroughly understand the community’s fears and concerns, however, this is an internationally recognized hotel, not some rinky dink, cheap motel being put up.

In Melrose, there’s a Days Inn which opened up 4 years ago and the community hasn’t suffered any of the concerns that those in Castle Hill are raising. This is attributed to the fact that, unlike hot sheet motels which charge $40, $50, or $60 bucks for a couple of hours, Days Inn is strictly an overnight hotel where rates often begin around $130 per night.

This is no different than the Marriott going up the road just minutes away from the Days Inn. These types of establishments do not attract the same kind of crowd that those hourly motels do.

According to one of the developers, Manny Kumar,  its location is perfect for travelers passing through along the I-95 corridor seeking a nice, overnight rest or for relatives of local families who are visiting and need a place to stay.

Due to its 10 minute distance from La Guardia Airport, Days Inn will be providing shuttle service to the airport as well as Yankee Stadium for those visitors looking to stay for a game or two. It will also offer those seeking to stay in the area a more affordable option than the Marriott at the Hutchinson Metro Tech Center. Both will be targeting guests seeking lodging to nearby Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Calvary Hospital, and families visiting students at local colleges.

It is also located less than half a mile and walking distance to the site of the former Whitestone Cinemas and future home of New York City’s first outlet mall: Paragon Outlets.

When I visited the Days Inn construction site in Castle Hill on Friday, I had a chance to speak to a resident who lives several houses over while on his way to work (he preferred to remain anonymous due to the issue). When asked about his thoughts on the new hotel, he said he was happy because it’s a Days Inn and things could have been bad if it was a cheap motel going up instead. His only concern was parking but his concerns were quickly alleviated when informed that the hotel would have on-site parking.

Indeed the situation could have been worse. According to the developer, a real estate agent representing Hooters (a restaurant who’s known for its scantily clad voluptuous waitstaff , was interested in acquiring the site but the developers declined because they did not feel it to be a proper business for the neighborhood and residents deserved better.

Hopefully, local residents and the developers can peacefully sit down together, who want to be good neighbors in the community they are building in. So far, they appear to be doing a good job as not a single violation has been found by the Department of Buildings as per their website. A complaint was filed on September 8th, 2014 but immediately dismissed on September 10th, 2014 by the Department of Buildings as the site was found to contain no violations upon inspection.

Welcome2TheBronx contacted Wyndham Hotel Group and this is what they had to say:

“Thanks so much for reaching out. As you may know, Days Inn is one of the most well-known hotel chains in the world with over 1,800 hotels globally. Hotels that carry the brand name—all of which are independently owned and operated—are required to comply with all local, state and federal laws and must also meet a variety of corporate brand standards designed to ensure a consistent and positive experience for each and every hotel guest.

Please know that we appreciate the concerns that have been raised and have shared them with the hotel’s owner.” — Christine Da Silva, Vice President of Marketing Communications, Wyndham Hotel Group

Both the developers and the hotel chain seem to be ready to provide the residents of Castle Hill and The Bronx with a project that will enhance the neighborhood and not detract from it.

What are your thoughts?

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