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Capri Whitestone Hotel in Ferry Point up for sale

Capri Whitestone Hotel up for sale

Bronx Times
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A prime piece of east Bronx digs is “fore” sale.

The Capri Whitestone Hotel, off the Hutchinson River Parkway in Ferry Point Park, has been listed for sale right next to the borough’s newest golf course.

A new owner can either use the existing two-story space, or use the “significant development rights” to build something else at the property at the foot of the Whitestone Bridge, reads the listing from the real estate firm Massey Knakal.

The site is zoned as “M1-1” — a manufacturing zoning that would allow the new owner many different options.

New hotel?

Locals, and elected officials, are hoping that the hotel’s buyer will bring the “right” kind of development to an area where the trend is bustling new malls and activity.

“I would like to see something that fits into the new neighborhood, something upgraded, not downgraded,” said Dorothea Poggi of Friends of Ferry Point Park, an advocacy group.

Poggi suggested a large office building with a restaurant, or some sort of housing complex overlooking the new golf course — funded with over $200 million of public money and private money from Donald Trump — which is set to open in 2015.

“You can have your condo, and then you can have your golf,” she said.

Neighbors had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the two-story, 95-room former motel. In recent months, a labor union has been striking there, with stories of scandalous activity and bed bugs leaking to the press.

But Poggi said the former ownership did a good job of keeping the motel’s allegedly scandalous activities within motel grounds. The former owner also was helpful in sometimes letting locals use the bathrooms on weekends, since Ferry Point Park still does not have public restrooms.

Good neighbors wanted

Elected officials in the area said their offices would be on watch to make sure the new tenants are good neighbors.

Poggi said she’s concerned that a homeless shelter might move in, though no plans for such a development are currently in place.

“We are concerned about a homeless shelter coming in,” said Poggi. “ We can’t police them over here. There’s no way from keeping them from sleeping in the park.”

Councilmember Jimmy Vacca, who represents the area, said he would be thrilled to see a more upscale hotel operation move into the Capri Whitestone.

“I could see it going to a manufacturing use and creating jobs,” said Vacca. “But it wouldn’t make sense to build housing there. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and there’s no transporta­tion.”

Another local pol said his office would be on watch.

“Anytime a property changes hands it opens up new opportunities for growth in the neighborhood but also brings with it a responsibility to make sure the needs of the community are met and their voices are heard.” wrote Senator Jeff Klein in a statement. “My office will be speaking with the residents and leaders of the community to discuss the sale and I look forward to working with the new owner towards a seamless and positive transition that will be beneficial for all.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.
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