Bellerose residents braved freezing temperatures last weekend in an attempt to prevent the neighborhood’s Frozen Cup ice cream shop from being replaced by a planned three−story hotel along Jericho Turnpike.
Community activists joined state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) in front of the 50−year−old ice cream shop at 249−05 Jericho Tnpk. in Bellerose to protest an as−of−right Days Inn hotel that will feature 40 to 45 rooms and include one parking space per eight rooms, said Alan Woodruff, historian for the Incorporated Village of Bellerose.
“We’ll do everything we can to prevent it and everything we can to support the community’s opposition,” Padavan said. “This will not serve the community in any way. In fact, it would be a detriment.”
Residents said the neighborhood already has two nearby hotels, including a Quality Inn on Jericho Turnpike developed by Floral Park’s Gopal Realty Management LLC, which is also developing the Bellerose hotel.
Michael Augugliaro, sergeant in arms of the Queens Colony Civic Association, said most residents in the neighborhood would prefer more shops rather than new hotels along the roadway. He said the proposed hotel’s lack of parking would cause numerous problems for local businesses.
“We are trying to revitalize the area, so people will walk into stores and buy stuff,” he said. “Businesses have been closing down because there is nowhere to park. And they have the nerve to say that most people will be dropped off with taxi cabs. How do they know that? This isn’t Manhattan.”
The developer of the property could not be reached for comment.
Neighborhood residents said they were upset that Frozen Cup would no longer be at the site because it had been a community fixture since it opened 50 years ago.
“This has been here for years and I don’t want to see it go,” said Jacqueline Pilosi, 13, who frequently visits the ice cream shop during the summer.
Woodruff said the proposed hotel would be much larger than the ice cream shop’s small building and that there is not adequate space on the property to accommodate its development.
“This iconic building has been part of our landscape and lives for years,” he said of the Frozen Cup. “And this hotel would be out of scale with the community.”
Neighborhood civic leaders have said that they would attempt to get the ice cream shop’s building landmarked.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.
©2008 Community News Group
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