Work on the largest historic rehab project ever in Niagara Falls is set to begin next month. Plans call for the Hotel Niagara to become an "upper-upscale" hotel.
Elected officials used sledgehammers on an old plaster wall in the lobby of the Hotel Niagara to kick off the estimated $42 million renovation project on Monday. Brine Wells Development Managing Member Ed Riley says it will be a 160-room "four-diamond" hotel.
"All new rooms throughout, new lobby. The ballroom will be basically brought back to its historic character, its original historic character. We'll have three restaurants, four lounges in it, we'll have one sports bar."
It will also have a rooftop bar overlooking the Falls.
"It's really a very beautiful view up there," Riley said.
The Hotel Niagara originally opened in the mid-1920s. It has been vacant for several years and neglect and water damage have taken their toll. But Riley says the 12-story building is still a gem and deserves to be brought back to life. The company previously restored the Hotel Syracuse.
"We look at historic hotels as being a brand that's easy to bring back and has already established its place in the community and one of the things that's going to make this hotel work, not just the overnight guests that come through it, but in this type of year when the tourists aren't as plentiful, the community has to come here and have events," Riley said.
The company plans to secure more than $10 million worth of state and federal historic tax credits making it the largest historic rehabilitation project ever in Niagara Falls. Riley says work should be complete by April 2021.