Workforce housing planned at former Quality Inn
Town council to hold hearing on grant application Wednesday
LAKE PLACID — The developer rebuilding and rebranding the former Quality Inn hotel on Saranac Avenue plans to convert a portion of units in the former hotel into workforce housing for its future employees.
While the Quality Inn’s main hilltop building was torn down in 2021 to make way for the construction of a new hotel in the same spot, the streetside portion of the hotel — including the hotel’s lobby and around 20 rooms — was left intact. This 5,000-square-foot building is what Bhavik Jariwala — a partner at Dual Development LLC, the company behind the Quality Inn rebuild — wants to convert into 12 workforce housing units for hotel employees, according to North Elba Town Supervisor Derek Doty. The lobby would be converted into a shared space with laundry, kitchen and common areas for tenants.
Doty said Dual Development is applying for a $700,000 Empire State Development Restore NY Grant for the project, and the North Elba Town Council wants to sponsor the application.
“The town (council) certainly has full support for a project like that,” Doty said.
Before it formally backs the project as the developer applies for grant funding through the state, the town council is required to hold a public hearing about the town’s support of this grant application. The public hearing will be held at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday in the North Elba Town Hall’s first-floor meeting room. Those interested in attending can do so in person or virtually at www.gotomeet.me/townofnorthelba/town-of-north-elba-workshop. People can also call into the meeting by dialing 224-501-3412 and entering access code 347-220-709.
Right now, most of the remaining building’s existing rooms are being used to house the construction workers who are building the new Cambria hotel, according to Quality Inn General Manager Kristin Preston. Preston said construction on the new hotel is expected to wrap up by the end of August or the beginning of September.
This project was awarded $3 million in state funding through the Regional Economic Development Council awards in 2019. The developer also asked the town of North Elba for additional tax breaks in 2020, which the town council denied.
While housing developers in the village of Lake Placid and North Elba are required to reserve a portion of their housing units at an “income-based” price per the town-village land use code — where any development with 10 units or more must have a certain percentage of units reserved for income-based housing — the developers of private hotels aren’t held to the same conditions. However, several local hotels — including the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort and the Crowne Plaza Lake Placid — do offer on-site housing for a number of their staff.
The former Quality Inn hotel had 73 units. The new building of 185 units is 53 feet tall, according to Dual Development’s application to the Adirondack Park Agency. The developers applied for an APA permit for the rebuild last year — which the APA granted — because the planned hotel’s height exceeds 40 feet in height. The developers’ initial application to the North Elba-Lake Placid Review Board showed plans for 191 rooms.