ISLIP, NY— In what would be the closest hotel to Long Island’s MacArthur Airport, Manhattan-based Apple Core Hotels is negotiating to build a $15-million, 133-unit La Quinta Inn near the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Veterans Memorial Highway here. The 4.1-acre parcel— currently owned by a subsidiary of the Jericho, NY-based development firm, Spiegel Associates, Aerotech Hotel— abuts 30 acres along Johnson Avenue reportedly also owned by Aerotech Industrial and carrying a value of $350,000 – $400,000 an acre because it is already zoned for a hotel, real estate experts were quoted as saying. It was further noted the proposed hotel would be the first La Quinta Inn on Long Island and the first ground-up development for Apple Core, which currently owns one other Long Island lodging property, a Quality Inn in Hempstead. Apple Core Hotels COO Vijay Dandapani reportedly pointed out La Quinta and Southwest Airlines, billed as the dominant air carrier at MacArthur, formed an alliance in January whereby customers can swap frequent-stay and frequent-flier points, allowing them to allocate the points either to airline flights or hotel stays. Dandapani was said to have explained Apple Core is hoping to have the development under way by the end of the year. As such, Apple Core officials are reportedly working with Town of Islip officials to hammer out details of the La Quinta proposal before submitting a site-plan for development.