By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO The team behind the aborted Apollo Mall redevelopment now aims to build a 100-room hotel and restaurant just across the street.
“We’re formally in contract on the property,” Henry Zabatta confirmed this week.
Zabatta is a principal in K-Sullivan I-86 Development, along with Michael Kaplan and the Simon Konover Company.
They were the team behind Chancellor-Livingston, which started the Monticello Motor Club and initially attempted to work with the county on resurrecting the former Apollo Plaza, before walking away from the project.
Now their sights are on the former Budoff Outdoor Furniture property across East Broadway from the Apollo.
“It’s perfect for a hotel,” said Zabatta, noting the prime visibility right along Route 17, near the just-redone Exit 106.
Though the chain has yet to be selected, Zabatta said the four-story hotel would be similar to a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express, with one or two separate restaurants on site one full-service, another akin to a Dunkin’ Donuts or Tim Horton’s.
“It depends on what we can fit on the property,” he said of the 5.2-acre site.
The Simon Konover Company owns a variety of hotels across the country, along with housing and retail properties, including the Liberty ShopRite plaza.
Zabatta and company have yet to formally approach the Town of Thompson for approvals (upon which the sale of the property is contingent), but Zabatta said both Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini and Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins have been supportive.
The development team plans to seek Industrial Development Agency (IDA) assistance and may tap into the village’s water and sewer services.
Zabatta, who’s also manager of Louis Cappelli’s Concord Associates, hopes to break ground on the circa-$10 million effort next year.
This project is separate from the Resnick Group’s plans to revive the Apollo, but Zabatta indicated he still recognizes the potential sitting just across the road.
“Anything we do is going to help the Apollo, and anything the Apollo does is going to help us,” he affirmed.
But he also indicated the hotel plan is not dependent on any Apollo resurrection.
“I think the county is desperately in need of lodging and specifically, a national flag [chain],” Zabatta said.