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Work Begins on 91-room Courtyard by Marriott in Southside Oneonta, New York

By Jake Palmateer, The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Dec. 13, 2011--Plans for a 91-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Southside Oneonta are moving forward.

First proposed in 2007, the hotel will be sited for a hill behind B.J.'s Wholesale Club and south of the McDonald's and Wendy's restaurants on state Route 28.

Developer Erfan Kahn had delayed the project until now for financial reasons, Town Supervisor Robert Wood said.

The town issued a building permit within the last month, and there is activity on the site.

"They are actually starting work," Wood said Monday. "I think they want to be open by late summer, early fall."

Wood said the hotel will be a good addition to Southside and is an indication that despite the tough economy there is still a need for more housing tied to the tourist trade and the colleges.

"I think they are seeing more significant demand for hotel rooms," Wood said. "I am sure the developers did their homework."

It also would be adding more real property value to the town.

"It helps with the tax base," Wood said.

Kahn did not immediately return a call for comment Monday to Rainbow Enterprises, the company under which his business is being conducted.

Original site plans submitted to the town said the hotel would create 25 jobs.

Out of the 91 rooms, 10 would be suites and two would have whirlpool baths. There would also be a breakfast area, meeting rooms and an indoor pool, according to those plans.

The town is also looking at what to do with an access road to the site, which is jointly owned by McDonald's and Wendy's.

The road, which runs south of Lettis and Foster highways, connects with the access road to the hotel site, which has already been taken over by the town, according to Wood.

The state Department of Transportation was not interested in taking over the road, which has been in rough condition in recent years, he said.

Wood said the town would be looking to work with the restaurants to assume ownership of the short stretch of road.

"We have contacted them about eventually taking it over," Wood said.

Town ownership would be in the best interest of the community because it would ensure the road is kept in good condition, he said.


(c)2011 The Daily Star (Oneonta, N.Y.)

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