After sitting dilapidated and empty for years near the southbound North Grand Island Bridge, the so-called Dunlop Building on Long Road in Grand Island finally has a new owner.
Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels of Cheektowaga bought it from JSJ Holdings last week for $850,000.
Jayesh Patel, president and CEO of the company that bought the building, declined to disclose details, but preliminary ideas involve some type of mixed-use project, with retail and offices on the first floor and some type of residential space on the second and third floors.
“Currently we are evaluating the best use of this building and planning how to bring it back to life,” Patel said.
The property needs significant work, according to Gary Roesch, a Grand Island councilman who has worked with potential buyers for years trying to get the property sold and developed.
It will take $1.8 million just to get the property’s utility and sewage infrastructure in order and to complete any environmental remediation and other preliminary issues, he said. The property owners will be eligible for a $1 million Restore New York grant administered by the Empire State Development Corp. to reimburse it for improvements.
Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels owns 20 hotels in and around Western New York along with a handful of other properties in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Georgia. It is currently developing a Hampton Inn & Suites on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls and a Holiday Inn Express on Anderson Road in Cheektowaga.
The beleaguered Grand Island property was owned by James Metz, principal of JSJ Holdings and owner of Beauty Pools in Lancaster, who was left with the property after repossessing it as a foreclosure from partners who defaulted.
Another derelict property owned by Metz, a former gas station located at the corner of Grand Island Boulevard and Long Road on the eastern side of Interstate 190, was also purchased for $50,000.
The property at 2761 Long Road has been kept in better shape since 2011, when the Grand Island Town Board, zoning and building officials began more strictly enforcing code violations. Officials required Metz to keep the building free of graffiti, keep lawns mowed and keep windows boarded up. Still, residents considered it an eyesore.
“It has been probably the number one topic residents ask me about,” Roesch said.
Still known as the Dunlop Building because it once housed its corporate offices, it hasn’t actually been occupied by Dunlop Tire since 1993. It was built in the 1960s to serve as the corporate offices of Hooker Chemical & Plastics Corp.