|By Michelle Kearns, The Buffalo News,
N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 4, 2010--Construction is expected to begin this week on a $4.5 million Marriott-brand Courtyard hotel, the first of three Cheektowaga building projects that include another hotel and a $1 million drugstore.
All are promising signs of economic recovery, Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Adamczak said Monday.
"It's been very exciting, very encouraging," he said at the end of the Town Board meeting.
Last spring, five proposed hotels near Buffalo Niagara International Airport were put on hold by developers, citing problems with the economy and credit, plus dips in airport travelers and hotel bookings.
Now developers are reviving plans for two, a Courtyard hotel and a Hampton Inn, each with 130 to 140 rooms, Adamczak said.
The third revived project involves a $1 million Walgreens on the site of a former gas station at Borden and French roads. It, too, was put on hold last spring, with another still-on- hold Walgreens at Genesee Street and Pine Ridge Road.
The Hampton Inn, Adamczak said, a Ciminelli Development project on Buell Avenue, off Genesee Street, will occupy the site proposed for a Hyatt Place hotel that was dropped.
The Courtyard will join the nearby $4.1 million Fairfield Inn, another new Marriott brand that opened last summer at 4271 Genesee. The two originally were intended to be part of three "Marriott village"-style hotels developed by Buffalo Lodging Associates, the hotel management division of Benderson Development Co.
A TownPlace Suites, the third in the cluster, would have provided expanded living quarters intended for longer stays.
Hotel projects that Adamczak said have not been revived include a $16 million Starwood brand Aloft Hotel, a six-story, 153-room facility planned on Burgess Boulevard, off Genesee.
"We all are encouraged that we're seeing more," said Councilman Stanley Kaznowski. "It's a sign that maybe the economy is picking up a little bit, and credit is getting a little bit easier."
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