NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — “It fell into disrepair and it sat, and now it’s coming back to life,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo toured the inside of the Hotel Niagara that is soon set to see a major transformation. The historic hotel that has been vacant for many years is where Marilyn Monroe stayed back in the 1950’s.
“It’s coming back to life in a modern version but with all the beauty of that history,” said Cuomo.
Brine Wells Development of Syracuse has been selected to restore the hotel, and is investing $42 million into the site.
The developer says one of the biggest challenges will be installing mechanical and electrical components without disturbing the historic character of the hotel.
“All new guts to the building, new technology, a new kitchen, all the heart of house that has to be there to make it operate correctly and at a high level,” said Edward Reilly, Brine Wells Development CEO.
The project will use historic preservation tax credits to transform the building into a 130 room upscale hotel with restaurants, lounges and ball rooms.
“It will be marketed to the public as a destination hotel very much focused on food and beverage and on the ballrooms,” said Reilly.
Reilly plans to restore the main ballroom to it’s original 1920’s condition, and keep the rest of to the hotel consistent with the original design.
“We’re not looking to cut corners we really want a quality restoration. We feel that drives business, makes it a destination in and of itself and brings business back to downtown,” said Reilly.
The developer plans to start restoring the hotel by early 2018 with an anticipated opening date of spring 2019. In the meantime the developer will be applying for a grant of up to $3.5 million and working to stabilize the building to prevent any further deterioration.