Former office building converted into 82-room hotel with 4,700 square feet of retail space
Complements construction of four additional hotels in Niagara Falls to support booming tourism industry and drive future economic growth in Western New York
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday announced the grand-opening of the new, $12.8 million Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at 900 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls. The project converted the vacant, 69,700-square-foot former Moore Business Forms office building into an 82-room hotel. The project also includes more than 4,700-square-feet of retail space, consisting of a home theater lounge, a 24/7 Grab-n-go Market, a Marriott Bistro with Starbucks service and a public outdoor lounge and dining area.
USA Niagara Development Corp., a subsidiary of Empire State Development, provided Indian Ocean LLC a $1.25 million grant for the project. The hotel will create approximately 12 full-time jobs, and the project has already created 150 construction-related jobs.
"With booming tourism and vibrant attractions, the revitalization of Niagara Falls is continuing to soar, and this hotel will help create even more jobs and economic opportunities," Cuomo said. "Our strategic investments in the unique strengths of the region are reinvigorating tourism in Niagara Falls and continuing to move Western New York forward."
Indian Ocean LLC purchased the former Moore Business Forms building in 2010. The company's co-owners, B.F. and Pragna Patel, have been hoteliers in Niagara Falls since 1996 and have more than 30 years of hospitality experience. To build upon the historic building, the Patels worked closely with the New York State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the integrity of the structure.
The building, which dates back to 1912, was originally constructed for the Niagara Chocolate Co., which made chocolate products for the nearby Shredded Wheat Co. plant on Rainbow Boulevard. The plant was a one-of-a-kind facility, and touted its self as the cleanest facility to produce chocolate - so much so it welcomed visitors to tour the facility far before the any of the more well-known brands around today opened their doors. The building later served as the North American regional administration building for Moore Business Forms.
To accommodate the 82 rooms, two floors were added to the two-story building. The building rehabilitation also included the restoration of limestone and granite on the exterior. Each floor includes a unique mural of Niagara Falls' history. The guestroom hallways have mounted aluminum panels with printed images telling the story to the theme of each floor, and the lobby is designed around the city's industrial heritage.
The hotel also includes six luxury suites and a 5,000-square-foot penthouse office space on the fourth floor, which will be the main management office, and headquarters for the Patel's future ventures in the city.
With the addition of the new Courtyard by Marriott, downtown Niagara Falls now has eight new hotels either recently completed or being constructed or expanded, supported by over $9.25 million in state funding to date. The creation of the new hotels will generate about 1,030 new rooms for visitors and nearly $260 million in total project costs.
Indian Ocean co-owner and president, B.F. Patel, said, "It has taken us a long time to complete this project, but along the way we have been taught one key lesson: We are only as good as the team we choose to walk beside us. I am proud to say that this hotel is just the start of my family's ultimate mission of seeing our Niagara Falls transformed into a real world-class destination that is just as wonderful and inspiring as the falls themselves."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "As a gateway to Niagara Falls, I'm proud to see this signature building is now transformed. The continued development of Niagara Falls' hospitality industry is generating a local economic surge and providing yet another reason for visitors to come to Western New York."
USAN President Christopher J. Schoepflin said, "The City of Niagara Falls is showing true signs of a transformation and capturing tourism opportunities. Our strategic investments in quality hotel inventory, like the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, capture more overnight visitors drawn to the Marriott brand, while providing employment and revenue opportunities for residents of the region."
New York State Sen. Rob Ortt said, "The amenities offered at the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel and its close proximity to Niagara Falls State Park and the waterfront will help to enhance the visitor experience. I congratulate the Patels on the completion of this hotel, and for their commitment to supporting the growth of the economy and tourism industry while creating jobs."
Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello said, "Our city is home to several historic buildings that have the potential to become wonderful locations with the right vision. I'm delighted that the developers have chosen to reinvest in our community with this project, and created a facility that caters to our tourism economy while also retaining the beauty of our city's past."
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, "Through the Patel family's restorative reuse of the former Niagara Chocolate Co., the Courtyard by Marriott not only allows visitors the opportunity to extend their stay in an ever-growing tourism destination, but provides a unique glimpse into the history of Niagara Falls while doing so. Thank you to Gov. Cuomo and Empire State Development for once again helping to shine a light on the City of Niagara Falls and for their continued investment into its future."