A developer got the go-ahead Tuesday to begin work on a $4 million hotel and office complex near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The 60-room Sleep Inn will be built at 1159 Main St., between Dodge and Best streets. The site currently is occupied by the Buffalo Tourist Lodge, widely criticized as an eyesore. It also has been the target of reports alleging prostitution and drug activity.
The Buffalo Planning Board approved a site plan for the new project after the developer agreed to add landscaping and remove one sign. Other revisions will include installing a bike rack as part of the city's ongoing efforts to encourage alternative modes of transportation.
The project will include 7,700 square feet of office space that will be marketed to doctors and others in the medical community. Developers hope to complete work within one to two years.
Fouad Bou-Jaude, owner of the Buffalo Tourist Lodge, is partnering with Choice Hotels. He said the three-story hotel will replace the motor lodge, which opened in 1964 and has had a sharp decline in business over the years. Silvestri Architects is designing the new complex.
The project has won the support of the city lawmaker who represents the neighborhood. The Rev. Darius G. Pridgen, Council member from the Ellicott District, praised developers for adding exterior lighting that he says will enhance the appearance of the complex.