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Bay Plaza Shopping Center may include a new hotel

The proposed location of the new hotel was for this area between Bartow Avenue (l) next to the Hutchinson River Parkway (front).
Bronx Times
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On Thursday, March 1, an application was filed that would pave the way for a top-notch six-story, 130-room hotel for the northeastern corner of the Bay Plaza Shopping Center.

The plans for the hotel are still in the preliminary stage, according to James Friend of Friend Development Group, the project’s developer and partner in the venture, along with Prestige Properties and Development.

Friend Development has built hotels before. The firm is responsible for Cross County Shopping Center’s 8-story Hyatt Place hotel and another in downtown Brooklyn, a large Hampton Inn on Flatbush Avenue.

Friend said the project was too early in its initial planning stage to say definitively whether the project is a go. More details would be forthcoming in the coming months.

“Real estate development is dependent on a lot of factors and we still have a lot of variables out there that we need to nail down in order to move forward,” Friend said.

The developers have filed an application to separate a buildable parcel along Bartow Avenue, adjacent to the Hutchinson River Parkway’s right-of-way, from the shopping center’s parking lot.

The new 200- by 500-foot tax lot would be used for the proposed hotel.

Community Board 10 has been notified of the project and is keeping a watchful eye on its possible impact on its host community.

“It’s a hotel so we want to make sure it’s something that respects the Co-op City community,” said CB10 district manager, Matt Cruz.

“Second we want them to be mindful of parking in that community and make sure their plans don’t interfere with the current traffic patterns,” Cruz added.

Depending on the progress of the project, Cruz is considering the possibility of bringing together the developers and RiverBay, Co-op City’s corporate entity, because of the residential complex’ close proximity to the project.

The hotel is rumored to be a Hampton Inn, a Hilton franchise.

Cruz, who met with local leaders and the developers when the application was filed, mentioned the project’s location is prized because of the anticipated 2023 completion of a Metro North train station in Section 5 of Co-op City.

The hotel is expected to include a gym and an indoor swimming pool for guests only and a conference center, according to details Cruz received in his meeting with the developers.

The conference center will be able to hold up to 200 guests and its design would allow it to hold two events simultaneously. An onsite warming kitchen would permit catered parties as well.

As the project is still in the planning phase, a rendering is not yet available.

The Bay Plaza Shopping Center and Mall at Bay Plaza sits at 2100 Bartow Avenue between I-95 and the Hutchinson River Parkway.

The complex includes stores like JC Penney, PC Richards, Macy’s, Outback Steakhouse, Swarovski, and a hundred other shops.

While many developers in the Bronx have built questionable motels recently, only the Residents Inn by Marriott at Hutch Metro Center on Waters Place and the Bronx Opera House on East 149th Street are legitimate hotels.

The Residents Inn is operating at an amazing 90 percent of capacity.

As of now, the new Bay Plaza hotel has no set construction start or completion date.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at svalenzuela@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, March 17, 2018
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