New hotel planned for development in the south Bronx

The proposed hotel site, 646 Gerard Avenue, is currently a parking lot located next to a sports bar and restaurant.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

A new hotel is planned for the Bronx.

According to multiple sources, the construction of a 4-story hotel was filed for 646 Gerard Avenue.

The proposed project, which will measure out to over 18,000 square feet in total, will included 67 hotel rooms that will average out to just over 275 square feet each.

The location of the proposed project is just three blocks north of the 149th Street/Grand Concourse subway station.

The property owner and developer, Nehalhumar Gandhi, has filed applications for the project, and is expected to meet with the borough president’s office director of Planning and Development Wilhelm Ronda within the next month, according to Ronda.

“When a new hotel is planned for development, it is important that this process includes the developer meeting with the borough president’s office to discuss their plans and their vision of the project,” Ronda said. “This part of the process is crucial, because even though hotels are a need in the borough, we need to make sure that the developer knows and follows the rules and regulations for the area, and that is in the overall best interest for the community.”

Wilhelm also mentioned that the location of the proposed hotel is unique, considering that it is slated for a narrow one-way street as opposed to the Opera House Hotel on 149th Street and the Marriott Residence Inn at the Hutchinson Metro Center Atrium, both located on major commercial thoroughfares.

“We absolutely welcome hotels in the Bronx, just as long as they are genuine hotels,” said Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, who mentioned that tourism in the borough has expanded by nearly 15% percent in the past year. “This planned hotel definitely has potential – it is within close proximity to Manhattan, Yankee Stadium and it is located near multiple public transportation hubs.”

“Even though the hotel is not located directly in our district, it will have a big influence on many of the businesses in the south Bronx,” said Cary Goodman, executive director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District.

“The board welcomes a hotel in the district because it is needed,” said Kathleen Saunders, Commuity Board 4 chairperson. However the members have not seen the plan yet, she added.

The proposed hotel site, which is an as-of-right project, meaning that it complies with all applicable zoning regulations and does not require any discretionary action by the Board of Standards and Appeals or the City Planning Commission, is currently a parking lot located next to Dugout Sports Bar & Restaurant at 120 E. 151st Street.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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