AMSTERDAM -- The Amsterdam Planning Commission has referred the site plan for a proposed $6 million, 32,000-square-foot Microtel hotel to the Montgomery County Planning Board.
The proposal is from Valley View Hospitality, owned by Kuldip Singh and Sunita Singh. The Singhs currently own the Knights Inn and Mobil gas station on Route 5S, and would like to build the three-story, 67-room hotel at 1393 Route 5S, a vacant lot adjacent to their other properties.
J. Paul Kolodziej, the Singhs' attorney, said the project needs county approval because it will abut state Route 5S. He said if the county Planning Board approves the project in June, it will be referred back to the Amsterdam Planning Commission for final approval.
"Optimistically, we'd like to begin construction in the fall, but that will depend on the funding sources involved," Kolodziej said.
One funding source the project is set to receive is a $1.2 million New York state Regional Economic Development Council grant.
John Duchessi, the executive director for the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency, said the IDa sponsored the application for the state grant for the Microtel project. He said the grant will be reimbursable, which means the project must spend the money before being reimbursed by the grant, providing the project meets the requirements of the grant.
"The notion of bringing the Microtel to the area would be an asset to the city. We want to assist local businesses, that's part of our charge. We welcome the private investment," Duchessi said.
Kolodziej said that in order to get the $1.2 million grant the Microtel project will need to create about 14 jobs and meet the requirements of the state's Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise program. He said the wood-frame hotel will be painted with "earth-tone" colors, including brown. He said the project will subject to the rules of a franchise agreement with Wyndham Hotels.
One concern raised was whether the Microtel could be used by displaced people being assisted by the county's Department of Social Services, something that happens at the Singhs' other hotel, the Knights Inn.
Kolodziej said the Knights Inn and Microtel franchise agreements have very different requirements, but wouldn't comment on specific elements of the agreements other than to say that there won't be DSS patrons at the Microtel.
Mayor Michael Villa said his city needs a project like the Microtel, it part because it hasn't had a hotel since the downtown hotel, owned by many franchises over many years, was converted into an assisted-living center called The Sentinel of Amsterdam.
"This is critical, because the concerns that all of the businesses on the 5s corridor have, whether it's Liberty, Target, Beech-Nut, Hill & Marks, when their executives come in from out of state, there's nowhere for them to stay here. They either house them in Albany or set them in Johnstown, so this is a critical component. If we want to continue to grow we need to offer a place for people to stay," he said.