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Lancaster hotel still planned

Bhagwanji "Bob" Kunvarji has talked of opening a multimillion-dollar hotel on Transit Road in Lancaster for more than five years but so far has failed to come up with the money to build it.

"I'm going to be doing the hotel," he said, "but I don't know when."

In 2002, Kunvarji, of Clarence, purchased property at 6673 Transit Road just north of the Thruway and south of Wehrle Drive for $1.55 million.

Kunvarji submitted plans for a four-story hotel on the site that he says would now cost $8 million to build. The parcel is located near other hotels.

"It was supposed to have been built by now," Lancaster Supervisor Robert A. Giza said.

The hotel would have been part of the Staybridge extended-stay hotel chain. In addition, Kunvarji proposed bringing in a family-oriented restaurant, such as Friendly's, that would be located in front of the hotel.

But the land remains vacant, and Kunvarji's contract with the Staybridge chain has expired. Even so, Kunvarji said he's continuing to pay about $40,000 a year in taxes on the undeveloped property.

Giza said Kunvarji told him his money was tied up in other projects. There was also some disagreement about ownership of a new access road for the property, which has recently been resolved, he said.

Kunvarji said he's not completely sure the hotel project will move forward but expects to have a better handle on his financial situation in a couple of months. He hopes to break ground within the year.

Kunvarji currently owns the Royal Inn on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda. He also is a former owner of the Howard Johnson's motel on Transit Road, a short distance south of the property he owns.


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