By Mark Scheer firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — Residents and business owners on Buffalo Avenue got a chance on Tuesday to hear more about plans for a new hotel development in their neighborhood.
In advance of tonight’s meeting of the Niagara Falls Planning Board, representatives from Plati Niagara Inc., a hotel management company owned by local hoteliers, the Strangio family, held a meeting to discuss their plans for a proposed 110-room Wingate by Wyndham franchise hotel on Rainbow Boulevard.
The company’s owners will ask members of the planning board to accept a site plan for the project, a move that would allow construction to begin perhaps as early as this fall, according to Plati Vice President Frank Strangio, owner of the Quality Inn Hotel and Antonio’s Banquet and Conference Center on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
Strangio said Tuesday’s meeting was intended to give future neighbors of the proposed Wingate hotel a preview of his family’s plan and to answer any questions they may have had about the project.
“We are going to be neighbors so we just wanted to give them a head’s up on what we’re doing,” Strangio said. “I think it was a productive meeting. I think us showing them our renderings and answering their questions addressed their concerns.”
Earlier this year, the Plati project received approval for a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement through the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. The tax incentives will save the family about $1.5 million during the course of the PILOT. NCIDA officials estimate the project will provide about $1.9 million in benefit to the community. NCIDA officials have also said they are expecting the project to provide higher-end hotel properties and rooms in Niagara Falls, a need identified in recent state assessments that examined the local hospitality industry.
Strangio said site plan approval by the planning board would allow his family’s firm to move forward with construction. The goal, he said, is to begin at least parts of the project by this fall. If all goes as planned, Strangio said the hotel is scheduled to be open by early 2015.
“This would allow us to go out and get some construction bids and probably start more site work and really begin to move forward,” Strangio said.
Tonight’s planning board meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at Niagara Falls City Hall, 745 Main St.