Niagara Gazette

February 12, 2013

Comfort Inn-The Pointe owners, Falls hotelier seeking assistance from county IDA

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A pair of multi-million dollar hotel projects are in the works in downtown Niagara Falls.

The board of directors at the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency is expecting to receive requests for assistance today from the owners of the Comfort Inn-The Pointe as well as a local hotelier who wants to turn a Buffalo Avenue office building into a new Marriott location. 

In a release from the agency, officials said Maid of the Mist Hospitality, LLC, the owners of the Comfort Inn-The Pointe, will seek the IDA's assistance in carrying out a plan to invest $4 million to refurbish the existing hotel property located at One Prospect Pointe downtown. 

The company, a subsidiary of Maid of the Mist Corp., acquired the hotel and an adjacent retail complex on Old Falls Street at the beginning of 2009 from its former owner, Sevenson Hotel Associates. 

Maid of the Mist Hospitality spokesperson Kevin Keenan said the company plans to undertake a four-year renovation of the 117-room hotel. He said the project, which is expected to wrap up in 2016, will involve renovation of every room, a new fitness center, public restrooms, replacement of the parking lot and other amenities. 

"It's basically a renovation of the hotel," Keenan said. 

NCIDA officials are also expecting to receive an application for assistance from B.F. Patel, the current owner of the Econolodge in Niagara Falls whose firm, Indian Ocean, LLC, plans to invest $6.65 million to convert the old Moore Business Forms office building at 900 Buffalo Ave. into a Courtyard Marriott hotel. 

Patel and his wife, Pragna, purchased the building for $650,000 back in 2010. The 41,000-square-foot structure sits on a triangular parcel located between Buffalo Avenue, Rainbow Boulevard and John B. Daly Boulevard. It previously served as office space for its former owner, Moore Wallace North America. It has not been occupied in years. 

Both applications are expected to be considered by members of the NCIDA board when they convene at 9 a.m. today. The session will be held at Niagara County Center for Economic Development, 6311 Inducon Corporate Drive, Sanborn.