Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 25, 2014

CITY: More time needed for Hamister hotel drawings.

Niagara Gazette — Representatives of the Hamister Group said they need another month to complete final site plans for the 146-room, 117,000-square-foot Hyatt Place hotel planned for 310 Rainbow Blvd.

Citing a need for further negotiations between architects and representatives from Hyatt Place, the chosen flag for the anticipated hotel, Communications Director Andrea Czopp said the company wasn't able to finalize the needed renderings to present all of the information to the city's planning board Wednesday.

The delay, she said, pushes approval back to July but won't affect the overall timeframe for the project.

"After some feedback with Hyatt, our architects had some discussions and we had to pull back the original renderings that were put together, just to tweak some things to satisfy the requirements for their franchise," Czopp said. "We were hoping to get one more thing completed but we can certainly continue doing other things while we plan to answer all these questions next month."

With site and floor plans not finalized, attention at the meeting shifted to parking and addressing the hotel's use of the Rainbow Centre parking ramp. Some on the board, including Randy Ubriaco, questioned the group's lack of a covered walkway from the hotel to the nearby ramp, where guests would be parking vehicles for their stays.

Josh Klotzbach, director of construction for the Hamister Group, said the original plans called for the walkway but the cost and the impact on customers quickly turned architects designing the hotel away from including it beyond the original proposal.

He said aside from money problems, the covered walkway would take people to the hotel's third floor and would keep many from coming in through the first floor, where there's 8,000 square feet of retail space planned. In addition, taking them off the street means there's less connection to nearby businesses, he said.

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