New Hotels Planned For Long Island City
Plans to open a new luxury hotel in Long Island City this spring with rates beginning at over $300 per night, are on track. The Ravel Hotel, as it will be named, replaces the infamous QPlaza Motel near the Queensboro Bridge.
Along the East River waterfront, the Q-Plaza is being converted and expanded from 23 rooms into the 78-room Ravel Hotel at a cost of $4 million. The Ravel will feature Manhattan views, many from bay windows leading out to balconies, and have a multilevel rooftop that will serve as a bar/lounge and art gallery- a far cry from the Q-Plaza, long a notorious site of reputed prostitution in the area.
Ravi Patel purchased the property in 2005 with an idea toward accommodating tourists seeking an easy alternative from Manhattan, according to a February 18 report in the New York Times Business Section. Comparable rates for hotels in Manhattan are about $400 per night.
Groundbreaking is scheduled this spring for a second hotel in Long Island City, an 11-story structure with 100 rooms, also featuring views of Manhattan at the current site of a commercial warehouse on the East River waterfront.
The Z Hotel, as it is to be called, will be less expensive, with rooms going for about $200 per night. The developer, Henry Zilberman, also plans to provide an alternative for visitors to Manhattan. The Z will offer free hourly limousine transportation service for hotel guests to Manhattan destinations. Zilberman owns several limousine businesses in Long Island City, according to the February 18 New York Times report.
In another part of the borough, two more new hotel projects are in the planning stages as well, although community approval is still needed. In Forest Hills, a 100-room luxury hotel is going before Community Board 6 for approval. The developer, Yeheskel Elias said he envisions visitors to the US Open staying at the hotel, which would be designed in the tudorstyle architecture of the area, according to a report in the February 4 New York Times.
The second project, a 10-story, 130- room hotel to be constructed on Northern Boulevard in Corona, has met with resistance from the community because of the height of the building. Marriott International said plans for the proposed Spring Hill Suites hotel have not yet been completed. The development would replace vacant auto parts warehouses, according to the February 4 New York Times.
The rezoning of Long Island City in 2001 allowed for a mix of taller residential and commercial projects, including hotels, in the area, spurring development. In 2006, Court Square Place, a 16-story, 275,000-squarefoot building was completed.
In addition, a 486,000- square-foot office building for Citigroup is being constructed near Citigroup's 48- story tower that has long towered above other structures in the area.
Also along the East River waterfront, Silvercup Studios plans to develop 2.2 million square foot of space, including 650,000 square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of studio space, 150,000 square feet of retail space and about 1,000 units of residential housing with parking space for 1,400 cars.