ROCKAWAY BEACH — A luxury hotel with a pool, restaurant and ocean views could eventually replace a long-shuttered bar, which the developers hope will encourage further revitalization of the peninsula.
The Rockaway Beach Hotel would feature between 30 to 50 rooms in a four-story building with a bar and restaurant that serves the community year-round, according to representatives from the project, who presented early renderings to the community board on Tuesday.
The hotel is being developed by In Good Company Hospitality Group and JBS Project Management, and they are reaching out to the community for support as they work through the earliest stages of the project.
They hope to open the hotel by 2017.
"We're still in preliminary stages," said Terence Tubridy, an owner of In Good Company Hospitality Group, which also runs Bungalow Bar in Rockaway Beach, and bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including the Refinery Rooftop, Parker & Quinn and Libation.
"We feel very strongly that the community should be involved with the process."
Their plan is to build on the site of the former Tubridy's Bar, on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 109th Street, which has been vacant since the bar closed in 1989.
The building is owned by one of Terence's uncles, Tim Tubridy. Once they close on the site they can move forward with zoning changes, which they expect will be required for their hotel plans, he said.
Tubridy imagines the hotel will be a perfect place for nature lovers visiting the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, surfers hoping to spend a few days in the ocean or families visiting loved ones in Rockaway, he said.
Along with recent additions to the peninsula — including the Playland Motel on Beach 98th Street, which opened in 2013 — he hopes the hotel can continue to help push for improvements in his hometown, especially with transportation.
"We feel it's the next step in revitalizing Rockaway and hopefully, it might open doors for [the] city to realize there's a gem down here they haven't invested in," he said.
He was among many other local activists who pushed to make the Rockaway ferry permanent, but it set sail for the last time on Oct. 31, 2014.
As a resident and business owner, he thinks it's the main thing holding the area back.
"Accessibility is the next step for Rockaway, especially year-round residents and summer guests," he said.
"Every time a person takes public transportation to Rockaway and has an unfortunate experience, we've lost them. We've lost that dollar, and it's unfortunate."