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Developer seeks approval for 112-room hotel near Boulevard Consumer Square

Visions Hotels, which sold its Holiday Inn Buffalo Amherst on Niagara Falls Boulevard to make way for a used-car dealership, now plans to replace it with a new five-story hotel on the other side of the nearby Youngmann Expressway.

The Corning-based hotel operator is seeking approval from the Town of Amherst for the proposed 112-room Home2 Suites hotel at 3820 Ridge Lea Road. That would be only the second lodging facility under that Hilton Hotels Corp. brand in the area. Benderson Development Co. opened the first one last year near the Cabela’s store on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga.

The 2.7-acre property, which currently houses an 11,411-square-foot Off-Track Betting facility, is near the highway’s Niagara Falls Boulevard exit and just across the street from the heavily trafficked Boulevard Consumer Square. It would give the proposed hotel a prime captive market of both Canadian shoppers and travelers to Niagara Falls. Other neighbors include a multi-tenant commercial building to the west and a condominium development to the east.

Plans by CHA Consulting of Syracuse call for the 13,445-square-foot hotel on the west portion of the property, with an oval drop-off in front and a 121-space parking lot on the east side. It would also include a swimming pool.

Representatives of Visions and CHA could not be reached for comment. The Amherst Planning Board will consider the project on Thursday.

The privately held hotel company operates about 20 hotels across upstate and Western New York, including the 146-room Comfort Suites and 486-room Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo, an 80-room Hampton Inn in East Aurora, and a 76-room Hampton Inn, a Best Western Plus University Inn and a Fairfield Inn & Suites in Olean.

It’s spending $2 million to convert the Olean Hampton to a Holiday Inn Express, and it’s been trying to sell the outdated Adam’s Mark.

Visions also owned the two-story Holiday Inn at 1881 Niagara Falls Blvd., which it acquired in the summer of 2014 at a foreclosure auction for $4.3 million. But it sold that to national auto retailer CarMax Inc., which plans to demolish the 199-room hotel and construct an 18,824-square-foot complex that would include sales, service, car wash and presentation areas in multiple buildings on the 6.51-acre site. That project already received municipal approval.

The Amherst Planning Board will also consider other matters.

• Developer M.J. Peterson Corp. wants to modify its previously approved site plan for Deer Lakes Apartments at 4460 Chestnut Ridge Road. The developer wants to relocate the complex’s 3,343-square-foot community building and add an additional eight-unit residential building. The community facility would move from the southeast corner of the 29.83-acre site, where the new residential building would now go, to a location on the other side of the entrance driveway, where it would back up to the lake. The developer also wants to change the mix of units in three buildings from all two-bedroom apartments to one-bedroom units.

In all, the project just west of the Lockport Expressway would have 32 buildings, with 256 apartments and 580 parking spaces, up from 31 buildings with 248 units and 568 spaces. Each building would have eight units, with 17 two-bedroom buildings and 15 one-bedroom buildings.

• The town plans to construct a 14-space parking lot at 3105 Sweet Home Road for the southern portion of Nature View Park in the northwest part of Amherst.

• Henry Sicignano III proposes to subdivide 8.26 acres at 370 Casey Road into 25 single-family home lots, ranging in size from 6,500 to 21,719 square feet. The lots would be arranged along an extension of Casey, north of Youngs, that would end with a “T” intersection and a pair of cul-de-sacs. Construction of Stonebridge Estates would take 12 to 18 months.

• Elite Construction Development Corp. proposes to subdivide 3.14 acres at 4176-4188 Sheridan Drive into 12 single-family home lots, ranging in size from 8,896 to 21,743 square feet. The lots at Sheridan Woods would be arranged along a private road off Sheridan.

• John and Joe Rubino’s Ranch View LLC plans to construct a two-story wood-frame building on 1.08 acres at 871 Hopkins Road, with 6,400 square feet of office space on the first floor and six two-bedroom apartments above. The site at the east end of an existing office park, which dates to the early 1970s, would also have 36 parking spaces.

• An expansion has been proposed at the 12,863-square-foot Boardwalk Boutiques strip center on 2.5 acres at 938-982 Maple Road. A 1,400-square-foot one-story structure would be added for a future tenant to fill in the gap between two existing retail buildings. Construction would take four months.

• A rezoning has been requested for 2435 Hopkins Road, which is owned by the nearby Chapel at CrossPoint, to allow for shared parking with another of the Uniland Development Co. buildings at CrossPoint Business Park.

• The owners of Northtowns Cardiology Pllc have applied to rezone two acres at 190 Maple Road in preparation for constructing a 14,200-square-foot single-story medical office building to house the practice. Construction would start late this year and finish by the summer or fall of 2017.


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