Proposal: Turn Jericho Homeless Hotel into College Dorms
By Thomas Nothel
The new Hampton Inn on Jericho Turnpike in Jericho was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic – with ex-Nassau County Executive Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) proposing in late 2020 to open a homeless shelter in the hotel.
The proposal to turn the Hotel into a Homeless shelter was opposed by Jericho school district parents and nearly every local government leaders. The hotel has no kitchen facilities in the rooms, and bringing-in 300 homeless into the center of Jericho – with an estimated 75 students added to the schools – could cause huge disruptions.
The Town of Oyster Bay sued to block the homeless shelter, and the New York State Supreme Court granted an injunction halting the implementation of the proposal based on Town of Oyster zoning restrictions - which only allow stays of 30 days or less at a Hotel. Following the election of Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman (R-Long Beach), Nassau County chose not to appeal the injunction.
Now, local developer Michael F. Puntillo is proposing to buy the Hotel and convert it into a Dormitory for New York Institute of Technology (“NYIT”). The plan would lease the building to NYIT. The school sees the proposal as a positive for the School and is discussing terms with the Developer. The dorm would be for students pursuing professional degrees.
Prior to the pandemic, NYIT was housing students at SUNY Old Westbury. NYIT is currently paying for Hotel rooms for some of their students, many of whom are not from Long Island.
Having a secure and dependable dormitory residence would be very important for attracting students since lodging is difficult to find and expensive on Long Island. Having many students in the same building would also be a positive for the School.
Plans have been filed with the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (“IDA”) for a 50 % exemption on the Mortgage Recording Tax and a 20 year Property tax break (amount to be negotiated). In the application the Developer states the Mortgage tax savings is $82,500 and the yearly property taxes are $340,197. The Developer states in their application that the project is not feasible without the Tax Exemptions. The IDA website states the application is currently “under review.”