“This is a priority resuscitation project for us,” Kulpa said of the future hotel, which has upset his office for years.
The Amherst Zombie Hotel comes back to life. Work has recently restarted on the envelope of a building near the University of the Buffalo North campus, where two brothers from Ontario want to open a hotel for extended stays. Construction had started and stopped – twice – on the hotel property, the last time earlier this year, leaving an unfinished six-story building looming above Sweet.
Brothers Sam and Jas Johal, business owners in Ontario, purchased the property at 1265 Sweet Home Road, south of the Rensch Road entrance to the UB campus, in 2007 through a limited liability company. The first round of work ended in 2009 and the project languished until 2015, when the Johals were given permission to start over.
Work on the latest version of the six-story, 88,000-square-foot structure, a Maplewood Suites Extended Stay hotel, began in November 2016 and was completed in early 2018.
It is mainly an incomplete building envelope with walls, windows and floors on a fenced building lot. And homeowners face multiple mechanic’s privileges and even foreclosures for millions of dollars in unpaid bills – as well as over $ 100,000 in unpaid property taxes.
DMG Investments would buy the 2.4-acre site from the Johals for $ 5.8 million, convert the existing structure into 130 student apartments for $ 8.4 million and nail an annex that would add 17,000 square feet and 24 units at the cost of $ 2.6 million. Ancillary costs such as engineering work, as well as expenses for furniture, bring the total to $ 21.3 million.
If you’re visiting Hotels.com or Orbitz, you can book a room at a Maplewood Suites Extended Stay hotel in Amherst. But if you make your way to 1265 Sweet Home Road, you’ll see that customers aren’t getting their free waffles and eggs – or anything else – all the time.
Most of the 154 units would be one-bedroom apartments or studios. The project required rezoning, which Amherst City Council approved.