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Bliss plans new Candlewood Suites to replace former Buffalo Airport Inn

A longtime dilapidated motel in Lancaster that was sold at auction is now poised to give way to a brand-new Candlewood Suites extended-stay hotel.

The planned new hotel, which will be developed and owned by Paul Bliss, will be located at 50 Freeman Road, on the site of the former Buffalo Airport Inn. The Clarence construction contractor and developer purchased the 88-room motel in March for $1.35 million, and now plans to demolish the aging two-story structure.

Aside from the standard design supplied by the hotel chain, the specific details of the new building are still in flux. But Bliss said it will feature about 100 rooms – all suites – in a building that is tentatively expected to be four stories in height and about 50,000 square feet in all.

The hotel will be managed by Phil Gaulin's Brookwood Hospitality, which already manages Uniland Development Co.'s Embassy Suites in downtown Buffalo. Brookwood is also working with Uniland on the developer's planned hotel at the Northtown Center in Amherst.

The $10 million project, which Bliss Construction will build, must still be submitted to the Town of Lancaster for approval, but Bliss said he hopes to break ground by late winter or early spring, and to open by early 2020.

The Candlewood brand is a low-key extended-stay chain offering studio and one-bedroom suites with a casual feel. It's part of Intercontinental Hotels Group, which owns the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands, among others.

This is only the second Candlewood location in the region, after the one that Buffalo-based Hart Hotels operates at 50 Flint Road in Amherst, near University at Buffalo's North Campus.

The new hotel that Bliss is planning will include the chain's standard commissary-style grocery store – Candlewood Cupboard – but no restaurant, pool or fitness center, he said.

Bliss' project marks a dramatic change from the old motel, which he acquired from Harjinder K. and Kabal S. Virk. The 30,435-square-foot motel, which sits on 1.92 acres just off Transit Road near Salvatore’s Grand Hotel and the Thruway, was formerly a Microtel, a Knights Inn and a Rodeway Inn before doing business under its current name.

Bliss completes purchase of Buffalo Airport Inn

Zions Bank of Utah, which was owed $1.38 million on a prior mortgage by the Virks, foreclosed on the hotel, but Bliss bid more than the bank to gain the property at the auction.

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