From depravity to upscale


The Courtesy Hotel was notorious in the West Hempstead community for its problems with crime and drug dealing. For ten years, published reports in both local newspapers and Newsday documented its decline into depravity. For years, Newsday reported, local and county officials cited dozens of arrests monthly for violent sex and drug crimes at the hotel and a number of registered sex offenders resided there.

In 2011, Nassau County Police Department spokesperson Lt. Kevin Smith told reporters, “The 5th Precinct has responded numerous times to disturbances and criminal acts at the hotel.”

At that time, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said at a community rally to close the hotel, “We’ve worked very hard to rid West Hempstead of this community blight and we eagerly await its replacement with the proposed residential complex that will be both beautiful and community-friendly.”

“Every kind of bad nightmare you could envision for your community happened here, Murray told reporters at the demolition.

Two months ago, in December, the promised complex opened to the public and the rental program is reportedly ahead of schedule.

James Stover, a vice president for the development company, told the Herald this week that of the 150 one, two and three bedroom apartments in the new residential complex called West 130 for its address at 130 Hempstead Ave., nearly 40 are already rented and many are occupied.

Stover says that renters range from “young professionals looking for an easy commute to Manhattan to seniors who no longer need their large homes and don’t want to shovel snow any longer.”

In late 2008, the town created a “Transit Oriented Development” zoning classification for the area, allowing the development to be higher density than the surrounding parcels. That gave developers such as Mill Cree an incentive to purchase the unwanted hotel and turn it to residential use.

Mill Creek calls West 130 a “Transit-oriented luxury rental community,” that will “provide housing options especially for young professionals who commute to jobs in Manhattan.”

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