|By Stephen T. Watson, The Buffalo News,
N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 17, 2012--Russell Salvatore, owner of a steakhouse and hotel on Transit Road in Lancaster that bear his name, is planning a $2 million-plus expansion that would add a fifth floor and 19 rooms to his Salvatore's Grand Hotel.
Salvatore said the hotel expansion, which could be finished by November, is driven by demand from guests -- particularly Canadian shoppers.
"The occupancy rate has been really great," Salvatore said in a recent interview, adding, "Thank heavens for the Peace Bridge."
The Town of Lancaster Planning Board is scheduled to review the project site plan at its Wednesday meeting. Once the Planning Board makes its recommendation, the Town Board would have the final say.
"It doesn't change a lot around the facility," so the project review should be straight-forward, said Planning Board Chairman Stanley Jay Keysa.
Salvatore opened Salvatore's Grand Hotel and the attached Russell's Steak, Chops & More, at 6675 Transit Road, in November 2008, after turning over control of his Salvatore's Italian Gardens restaurant and Garden Place Hotel to his son, Joseph, but realizing he wasn't ready to retire.
The four-story Salvatore's Grand Hotel has 82 rooms, according to Keysa, and would have 101 rooms after the expansion.
The hotel has eight Jacuzzi suites currently and would add four such suites with the expansion, said Salvatore, who estimated the cost of the project at $2 million to $2.5 million.
With a fifth floor, the hotel will reach a height of 56 feet, said John Kanutsu, president of Jim's Electric and General Contracting in Buffalo.
The town's Zoning Board of Appeals, with the county's blessing, has granted a variance to allow the hotel to reach up to 60 feet in height, said Daryl Martin, the project architect.
The hotel is not in the flight path of the nearby Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and at this location and height the expansion does not require the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration, according to Martin and FAA spokesman Jim Peters.
One issue the Planning Board will consider is whether the Bowmansville Fire Department has equipment capable of reaching the fifth floor in case of a fire, Keysa said. He added he believes this is the case, but the board will consult the fire chief.
Once the necessary approvals are granted, Salvatore said he plans to have construction begin as soon as possible. Martin said the project could be completed by the end of November.
(c)2012 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)
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