New Hilton hotel design presented for Patchogue Village--- met with mix of opposition and support

Public hearing closed to consider Hotel District at former bowling alley


The Village of Patchogue Board of Trustees held a public hearing on Monday, May 13, to consider the petition of West Avenue Partners, LLC, for a change of zone from the E-Industrial District to the Hotel District for the property located at 138 West Avenue.

The Village of Patchogue Board of Trustees originally postponed the public hearing during their Monday, March 11 meeting, due to an incomplete application. The public hearing was reset for earlier this week.

The project required a referral to the board of trustees for a zoning change to the Hotel Zone from the current E Industrial Zone. Following the recommendation from the Patchogue Village Planning Board, the board of trustees originally set the public hearing to consider a change of zone from E-Industrial to Hotel Zone for the proposed Hilton Tempo Hotel.

The new “floating district,” according to mayor Paul Pontieri, made way for this zone change at this site, among others. 

There is currently no major hotel located south of Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County. Patchogue Village, he said, intends to be the first.


According to the application, West Avenue Partners, LLC, is seeking permission to construct the Tempo by Hilton at 138 West Avenue, the former site of the old Bowl Long Island bowling alley, which closed in 2020 during the pandemic, and later shuttered permanently after suffering from a roof collapse.

The 116-room, 73-feet tall hotel project also includes several residential apartments and at-grade retail, as part of the new floating zone requirements; with a total of 132 units, including 16 luxury apartments. The project also includes meeting and event spaces, a rooftop bar and restaurant, as well as a gym and outdoor seating.

Additionally, no variances have been requested for the nearly 1.2-acre site.

Village attorney Brian Egan addressed the crowd of about 35 people, noting that the public hearing was solely to request a zone change from industrial to the hotel floating zone.

“This is the beginning of the beginning,” he said, “the proposed site, the former bowling alley, which is zoned E-Industrial, pretty much allows for anything except for garbage incinerators.”

He noted the hearing was not for a site plan review and all details including parking, landscaping, and façade would be considered during future planning board meetings.

However, representing the application, Mike Kelly spoke about the proposed building, which he said, would be six floors including the base floor with 119 parking stalls, one over the required 118.

The building would be run by Hilton’s Tempo brand; the apartments would be maintained by the hotel concierge as well. Fourteen of the apartments would be two bedrooms and two bathrooms at just over 300 square feet; the remaining two would be one bedroom and one bathroom at about 700 square feet.

Hilton, he added, has already signed a 25-year franchise agreement and conducted several studies for the site, including an environmental review.

“This hotel has been years in the making, we forecasted an approximately $50 million investment into this community,” he said. “Which will create jobs during construction and permanent jobs after with a tremendous economic benefit for both the local and regional economy.”

The design was also recreated, according to the developer’s JM2 architect James Manicone, which was done to meet the needs of the community and is “certainly by no means the last [version].”

Additionally, the entrance corner of the building was softened with a rounded design and set back with a plaza for pedestrian-friendly areas.


Speakers during the hearing, requested information about the environmental review and the hotel’s impact on the Patchogue River. The board suggested they file a Freedom of Information Request for the full review.

“I don’t believe this village needs a hotel, maybe in the 1900s, but I don’t think so now," Judy Iannancone of Brooke Street said referencing the new housing being built nearby, including the Mediterranean Manor Grey Barn. “I think is ridiculous.”

Welcoming opposing opinions as part of public law to hear everyone’s opinion, Egan addressed her comments suggesting “something” needs to be built in the former bowling alley property.

“I don’t think Hilton would invest money in a loser property,” he said noting the application should be considered. “This is something that was a concept for the last two decades, part of Patchogue’s redevelopment success story.”

Resident Don Wachsmuth questioned the view from the MTA lot to the right of the development. Manicone noted there would be an evergreen buffer. Wachsmuth also stated he thinks the project is “exciting” however, he said, he is concerned about the traffic impact.

Susan Brennan and her husband Tom of West Fourth Street also supported the project.

“It is beautiful, I just love it--- even the apartments I really think it can bring up the neighborhood,” she said jokingly requesting they redo her residential bathroom.

However, she asked if the Hilton would promise not to use the building like is being done in Manhattan.

“People are living there for free,” she said. “How do we know this won’t be done here?”

Other speakers also questioned Hilton’s intentions to address potential human trafficking concerns.

Manicone again referenced the Hilton’s intentions to maintain their brand.

Neil Starkman who lives in the village and owns a rental on Amity Street, the closed single-family home to the development, said his tenants, who he treats like family, are not happy about the development. Instead, he requested the board rezone the area as a historic district for strictly single-family homes.

Jen Cotter of Furman Lane said she supports the project but asked if the zoning change is made and what would happen to the property zoning. The board said it would remain industrial opening it up to warehouse space, office buildings, etc., which Pontieri said, none seem to benefit the area.

Pamela Barr of Cedar Avenue asked if the restaurant/bar would be open-air or roofed over and enclosed. Developers said the restaurant would be roofed over with some outdoor seating.

She also requested a measure to control outdoor music during certain hours. The board said there are already noise ordinances on the books to control this behavior.

Joseph Seeman of Swezey Street said a lot of us will get nothing out of this project. He asked what the community is being sold back—being sold “expensive rooms and cocktails” that, he said, “we” as a community cannot go to. He hoped for something the community could share in for the enrichment of the area.

After several out-of-turn comments from opponents of the projects, nearby resident David Kennedy addressed the “bullying of the yelling and shouting for differing of opinions.”

He said he supports the project and feels it will help move the planning for the area in a positive direction.


Now that the change of zone public hearing was closed, it will be referred to the Suffolk County Planning Commission for their opinion, then the application will return to the board of trustees for approval.

If it is approved, the application will then proceed through the standard village regulatory board procedure, including site plan and architecture at the planning board and any necessary variances applications to the zoning board of appeals.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here