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$42 million project to restore Hotel Niagara to its 1920s-style elegance

A Syracuse company that  made over a grand hotel in that city is to be  placed in charge of the renovation of the Hotel Niagara in downtown Niagara Falls, The Buffalo News learned.

The state acquired the hotel last year for $4.4 million from the Buffalo Billion economic development fund and sought proposals for redevelopment of the vacant hotel.

Although the board of directors of USA Niagara Development Corp. won't vote on the selection until Tuesday, Brine Wells Development already has the project listed on its website.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is scheduled to be in Niagara Falls Tuesday morning for a formal announcement.

As part of a proposed $42 million project, Brine Wells intends to restore the 93-year-old, 12-story hotel to its 1920s-style elegance, with 130 rooms, a full-service restaurant, a sidewalk dining patio, a rooftop lounge and meeting space.

The hotel at 201 Rainbow Blvd. was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

If Brine Wells is formally approved as the preferred developer, a binding development agreement will be negotiated and submitted to the USA Niagara board for approval.

Brine Wells has experience in makeovers of old hotels, having turned the 1920s-vintage Hotel Syracuse into a 261-room Marriott. That $75 million project was completed in August 2016.

Brine Wells' website says it is also working on makeovers of a Hilton hotel in Syracuse, a Westin hotel in Las Vegas and a Doubletree hotel in Newark, N.J.

“This project is very similar to when we started the Syracuse restoration, and in fact some of the areas are in better shape," Brine Wells CEO Ed Riley told The Buffalo News after he toured the Hotel Niagara last August. "I think it’s a very good candidate, and if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it the best we can to make sure it gets done right.”


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