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Grand Island Radisson sale draws interest

Fri, Apr 19th 2024 01:10 pm

Developers exploring their options

By Terry Duffy


As discussions continue with the Grand Island Town Board for a planned unit development rezoning at Whitehaven and East River roads – with up to 316 residential units under consideration – one lingering question among neighboring Island residents remains, “What is going on with the Radisson?”

Following its purchase in 2022 by developers Michael J. Conroe of Elev8 Architecture of Orchard Park and partner JB Earl Co. of Salt Lake City, various Town Board approvals were granted for a mixed-use operation at 100 Whitehaven Road. Plans called for a combination hotel and private residences with a fitness center and pool and some retail at the location.

A liquidation sale of the hotel’s inside contents took place in spring 2023; however, not much transpired since then, and the property, for the most part, has remained idle. In December 2023, a Facebook post showed outdoors photos indicating the property had been entered and graffiti damage was found inside.

“The doors officially closed but it still has a place in my heart, so much so that I decided to pay a visit today just to see if there’s any activity or if it has been completely abandoned,” Facebook poster Caitlin Gleason said. “What I found was so sad; why do people do these things?! (No, I did not enter the building but I did close the garage doors and back fence!)

“I’m just happy that there are functioning cameras to keep these little rats from destroying more of what was once such a beautiful hotel that so many islanders and guests loved.”

During this time, developers Conroe JB Earl Co. opted to put the property up for sale. Its current asking price is $10.250 million.

A check of Buffalo-area hotels for sale at crexi.com revealed the following under the title Grand Island hotel: “New Gen Advisory Has Been Retained as The Exclusive Agent to The Owner and Is Pleased to Offer for Sale the Grand Island Hotel (the ‘hotel’ or ‘property,’) …

“Currently an Independent Asset. the Property Has a Prime Location with Over 10 Acres of Valuable Land of Which a Quarter Mile Is Waterfront on The Niagara River. This Asset Presents an Outstanding Opportunity to Capitalize on An Exceptional Acquisition Which Includes City Incentives, Proximity to Niagara Falls, Marina and Boating Access for Water Enthusiasts and An Overall Lifestyle Destination Valuable to Hospitality and Residential Consumers Alike. the 263 Room Building May Be Retained as A Hotel, Convert to Multi-Family or Renovated for Mixed Hospitality and Residential Use Given Its Adaptable Footprint.

“A One-Of-A-Kind Investment Opportunity, the Grand Island Property Provides the Possibility to Blend Luxury Living with Hospitality Excellence. Zoned and Entitled for Multi-Family This Unique Development Offers a Visionary Fusion of Sophisticated Residential Spaces that Include the Option to Maintain a Hotel Space. Given the Extensive Unparalleled Waterfront Land Coupled with The Approved Zoning – the Upside Value and Options to Design This Real Estate to Specifically Capitalize on The Surrounding Lifestyle and Community Strengths Will Result in An Exceptional Gateway for A Commercial Real Estate Investor.”

A March 29 Buffalo Business First report confirmed Conroe and his partners were exploring such an option, and conversation this week with Conroe revealed that the property is still on the market.

“We put it up for sale to see what our options could be,” he said.

Conroe said the property has drawn two interested parties and that a possible sale could be developing. He didn’t elaborate and said he and his partners were also keeping their options open. “We’re still actively considering it. If we don’t do it, the parties we are looking at selling it are going to do as the project we’ve conceived.

Conroe said he was aware of discussions regarding the potential development at Whitehaven and East River and voiced his support. “Yeah, if they do it, that’d be great,” he said

He also stated that Elev8’s and JB Earl’s earlier plans to develop the property would remain the same should they opt to retain the 100 Whitehaven property. “Anything’s under consideration. Our plan is to do a full conversion of it to multi-family.”

Meanwhile, Conroe said he and his partners appear ready: “We’re received multiple offers for the property; we have two strong offers. It looks like we might be able to sign one of the offers this week if that comes through.”

But, “We’re (also) moving forward with our plans” should a sale not happen. “At the same time, if the right price comes through, we’re obviously going to sell it.”

“Like I said, we’ve got two offers that are at the right price,” Conroe said. “So, we’re negotiating with one. We think this week we’ll have the ability, if we choose, to enter into a purchase and sale agreement. Which, obviously, that will take 60-90 days to actually close to see if that would be a reality.

“But that would be the only thing to slow down renovations we have planned if we enter into an agreement.”

Conroe said the potential buyers indicated their plans for the property would be the same as Elev8 and Earl’s, should a sale be reached.

“(They would be) moving forward with our plans; they’re basically buying the project,” he said.

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