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Canadian developer signs deal to buy Adam's Mark

Canadian developer Harry Stinson has a signed contract to buy the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo.

But the hotel's owner cautioned that the deal still has work before the sale closes.

Stinson and Visions Hotels Chief Financial Officer Minesh Patel on Friday confirmed the formal agreement, which puts the transaction a step further than when Stinson disclosed in July he was negotiating for the property. The sale is expected to close in late October.

Stinson, a Hamilton, Ont.-based developer, would not disclose the price.

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Patel cautioned that there are "additional terms and conditions" that still have to be met, and noted that prior deals for the hotel have collapsed even at this point in the process.

"As long as the obligations are met, I don't see any reason it won't close, but there are still quite a few obligations that need to happen," Patel said. "We've seen deals further than this that have not come to closing on this property."

Opened in 1978 as the Buffalo Hilton, the nine-story hotel has 484 guest rooms and 72,000 square feet of meeting space, including what used to be a tennis club. In addition to the pool, health club and a lobby bar and restaurant, it also includes 500 parking spaces.

The hotel has gone through several owners, but was most recently acquired by Corning-based Visions in February 2009 for $8.87 million. The prior owner, Chartres Lodging Group LLC, purchased the hotel a year earlier as part of a larger acquisition of other former Adam's Marks in St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dallas and Houston.

Stinson, 64, wants to rebrand the Adam's Mark as the Buffalo Grand Hotel, keeping it independent rather than flagging it with a national chain. He also plans to upgrade the food service, while enhancing the guest rooms, conference center, fitness facility, pool and spa. He has previously said he plans to invest more than $30 million in the property.

"There's a lot of cosmetics that have to be done, certainly," he said. But "the place is functional and warm. The water works, the toilets flush, the basics are all good."

Stinson said he expects no interruption of service for the hotel. He said any existing commitments will be honored. "It is not our intention to close it at all. It will remain fully functional," Stinson said. "Business carries on as usual for them."

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