Super-sized hotel is ill-fitted for site

I would like to add my voice to the hundreds of voices of Amherst residents who do not want an intrusive six-story Hyatt Place hotel thrust upon their neighborhood community. Anyone who has seen renderings of the proposed hotel will likely tell you that the imposing height, garish entrance and asymmetrical glass structure of the building bear no resemblance to the character and taste of the surrounding neighborhood homes and businesses.

In a recent News article, Paul Bohdan Iskalo is quoted as saying that the site of the proposed Hyatt Place is a “top-of-the-mountain location for development … it’s a site that has been underdeveloped for decades.” How tragically misguided that a parcel of land, backed up to a family neighborhood and graced with trees, a pond and a natural habitat for varied wildlife, is viewed as “underdeveloped.” How many times has green space in Amherst been sacrificed in the name of “development”?

I would suggest that if the residents of Snyder, a town proudly established in 1837, needed, much less desired, a hotel the size of the proposed Hyatt, it would have been built long ago.

While I was offended by the condescending tone of the brochure Iskalo sent to Snyder residents, it did drive home a very important point: Iskalo can be proud of the many buildings he has beautifully transformed along Main Street in Williamsville. In each case, the structures fit in and enhanced the existing location. Why, then, is Iskalo so intent on developing a super-sized hotel on a parcel of land clearly not suited for a building of that magnitude?

One need look no farther than the unwanted Behemoth at Main and South Forest in Williamsville to wonder if this has not become a game of hotel one-upmanship. Two wrongs don’t make it right.

Mary Bartels