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Holiday Inn Downtown Buffalo may become Residence Inn by Marriott

Goodbye, Holiday Inn Buffalo Downtown. Hello, Residence Inn.

Benderson Development Co. is seeking to convert the Holiday Inn on Delaware Avenue into a new extended-stay Residence Inn by Marriott.

That would bring a new brand into the downtown Buffalo market, while refreshing a 50-year-old lodging establishment to keep up with the newer tastes, desires and needs of today’s travelers.

The eight-story hotel at 618 Delaware, built in 1966 and always owned by Benderson, has 167 hotel rooms, with a ground-level restaurant and banquet space in the basement level. It’s always been operated as a Holiday Inn by Buffalo-based Hart Hotels, until Benderson decided this year not to renew Hart’s lease so it could take the hotel in a different direction under its own hospitality division, Buffalo Lodging.

The $8.15 million project calls for demolishing the interior of the hotel, except for the stairways and elevator core, and rebuilding it with 105 extended-stay rooms, a hotel lobby, commercial space, and a Starbucks or other coffee shop on the ground floor. The hotel’s service area, as well as a small meeting space for hotel guests, will take up the basement.

Outside, Benderson wants to update the dated facade, which currently features an exposed concrete frame that shows the cantilevered floor slabs and cement columns, with a dark-metal frame and insulated glass. The new look will be a “thin-set” natural brown brick veneer, with fiberglass reinforced concrete, a gray pre-cast base, gray window frames and glass, and a decorative off-white metal panel system to “cap” the building with cornice and trim details. There will also be a porte cochere, with a new roof cornice, and the outdoor pool will be enclosed for year-round use.

The project is pending before the city’s Preservation Board, which backed the removal of an aging green mansard roof, but tabled final approval until its Sept. 29 meeting. If Benderson gets the green light, the new hotel will open in July 2017.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com

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