Developers have presented a new vision for a waterfront event center and remodeled hotel in Bayville, with D'Wayne Prieto, chief executive of Dobbs Ferry-based Ward Capital Management LLC, an investor in the project, announcing it would be branded as part of the Wyndham hotel chain.
About 100 people came to see the developer's presentation on Monday at the Bayville Intermediate School auditorium, which followed the regular village trustee meeting.
The property, commonly known as Steve’s Pier, would be built as a three-story event center with a rooftop restaurant, spa, and 13 hotel rooms called Ocean 33. The rooms would serve as spillover for a renovated and rebranded hotel at what is now the Tides Motor Inn, down the street on Bayville Avenue. The facilities would operate under Wyndham’s luxury brand, TRYP, and serve as venues for weddings and corporate events, Prieto said.
“It’s going to be a destination location,” Prieto said.
Mayor Robert De Natale, who spearheaded the repeal of part of the village zoning code to stop the developer’s earlier proposal for a seaside inn, praised the new project.
“These two buildings will enhance the entire western end of the village, which is at the moment in despair,” De Natale said. He added that the new construction would attract new businesses to fill vacant commercial properties along Bayville Avenue all year round. “It’s time to do something there,” De Natale said.
Prieto said the total project would cost more than $20 million and that the renovation and the new building would each take nine to 12 months to complete.
Public reaction was mixed, with some speaking in support of the proposal and others raising concerns about its design, environmental impact and potential competition with other catering facilities in Bayville.
Joseph Russo, a former trustee and deputy mayor, asked how the proposal for 13 overnight rooms at an event center site would fit within the village zoning code. Trustee David Wright said the board could issue a special-use permit and possibly amend the code.
When asked about competition with other catering facilities in Bayville, Prieto said the new facilities, when overbooked, would refer groups to the other venues.
That prompted a resident to ask, “You’re going to give them your leftovers?”
Prieto replied, “Sounds like business.”
The proposal was a complete redesign for the property following the repeal in November of sections of the village zoning code that would have permitted a seaside inn to be built.
Prieto said after the meeting that financing for the project was at a critical juncture, and direction was needed from the village.
“There’s a tremendous amount of work that needs to go into this in terms of figuring out the engineering and structurals and what this is going to look like from a logistics perspective,” Prieto said.
Leonard Gross, who owns the Steve's Pier property, said afterward that the new event center, in conjunction with a renovated inn, would be good for the village.
"As one entity, this works for everybody," Gross said. "It cleans up . . . [an] eyesore, and an icon location becomes an icon location once again."