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Building Update: Doubletree hotel in Niagara Falls

Building Update is a regular feature highlighting progress on development projects throughout the region.

Project name: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Address: 401 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls

Developer: Merani Hotel Group

Cost: $30 million

Description: New 191-room hotel

Completion date: Summer 2016

Lowdown: Construction on the new DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Niagara Falls will hit a milestone Friday morning, as contractors erect the final piece of steel on the nine-story project.

Merani Hotel Group is building the 191-room hotel at 401 Buffalo Ave., on the site of the former Fallside Hotel and Conference Center along the Robert Moses Parkway, near the upper Niagara River. As part of the $30 million project, the company, working with Waterbourne Construction Advisors LLC as its contractor, demolished the two-story section of Fallside and is renovating the four-story section while adding the 178,000 square-foot tower overlooking the river.

The new hotel, which is tentatively slated to open this summer, will include 16,000 square feet of banquet facilities, with a 550-person ballroom, as well as an indoor pool, a gym, a signature restaurant with an outdoor patio, and views of the upper rapids.

The project received a $2 million convertible loan from Empire State Development Corp.’s Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund and a $750,000 capital grant from USA Niagara Development Corp. to assist with the funding.

– Jonathan D. Epstein