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Holiday Inn Express planned for South Transit Road in Pendleton

A major local hotelier is planning a 77-room Holiday Inn Express on South Transit Road in Pendleton.

Ramesh Patel asked the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency Wednesday for a tax break for the $6.3 million hotel, to be erected at 6900 S. Transit Road, between a Key Bank call center and the former Urban Sports Park.

Patel owns several Western New York hotels, including two Hampton Inns in Niagara Falls and one in Pendleton, all of which were built with NCIDA incentives.

For the Holiday Inn Express, he requested a 10-year reduction in property taxes, along with an exemption from paying sales tax on building materials and furnishings for the hotel and an exemption from paying mortgage recording tax.

The incentives would save him almost $1.7 million over 10 years, the NCIDA staff calculated. The project would create the equivalent of 17 full-time jobs.

A project summary said Patel hopes to draw customers among tourists visiting eastern Niagara County and families and teams attending one of the numerous youth hockey tournaments at Cornerstone Arena in Lockport.

"It's obvious there's a need because of the hockey attraction," NCIDA Executive Director Susan C. Langdon said.

Patel, operating under the name of Omkara Hotel LLC, acquired a 4.23-acre vacant lot and will use 2.71 acres for the four-story hotel and parking area.

The agency will hold a public hearing on the proposal before a likely vote March 13.

Also Wednesday, the NCIDA board approved incentives for three Niagara Falls projects:

•A $5.63 million plan by Penn Terra of Mississauga, Ont., to erect a four-story, 36-unit building at Main and Third streets, called the Cannon Block.

During the school year, the apartments would be offered to students at Niagara University or the Niagara County Community College Culinary Arts Institute. During the summer, they would be offered to the public as hotel rooms.

Fifteen years of tax incentives would save Penn Terra an estimated $1.12 million. Six full-time management jobs would be created and 35 part-time maintenance and housekeeping employees would be sought from independent contractors.

•*A 10-year tax break for the conversion of the former Niagara Club, 24 Buffalo Ave., into a banquet facility with a rooftop bar. It was acquired by Babu and Pragna Patel, owners of Niagara Falls' Courtyard by Marriott hotel, in 2009. Langdon said they are not related to Ramesh Patel.

The $3 million project would create the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs, and the incentives would save the owners an estimated $383,000. Last August, the NCIDA gave the project a $151,760 grant from its Tourism Target Zone Fund.

•Babu and Pragna Patel, under the name of Rupal Corp., also received a 10-year tax break Wednesday to renovate the EconoLodge at 200 Rainbow Blvd. into a 54-room upscale boutique hotel. The incentives would save them an estimated $484,000 on their $4.17 million. Three new jobs would be created.


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