WHEATFIELD – Two businessmen, who received tax breaks for Niagara Falls motels in the past years but couldn’t get the projects off the ground, are trying again.
The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday took applications from Vibhu Joshi, who wants to build a 60-room Microtel, and Paresh Patel, who envisions a 66-room LaQuinta Inn.
Public hearings will be scheduled before the board’s expected vote on July 9.
Both businessmen are seeking 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangements that would cut their property taxes and exempt them from paying sales tax on building materials and furnishings for the motels.
The Microtel, being proposed in the name of Niagara Falls Hospitality Inc., would be built on the site of the former Captain’s Cove bar, 7726 Niagara Falls Blvd., which is to be demolished.
The LaQuinta Inn, to be built by Niagara Lodging Inc., would be erected at the site of the former Sunrise Inn, 6335 Niagara Falls Blvd., which also would be demolished. Both motels would have four stories.
The Microtel would create the equivalent of 11 full-time jobs, while the LaQuinta would have 12 full-time equivalents.
IDA staffers calculated that the PILOTs would save the Microtel $510,492 during the 10 years, while the LaQuinta would save $640,533.
The cost of the Microtel project is estimated at $2.98 million; the LaQuinta would cost $4.54 million. Both developers envision starting construction this fall and opening next summer.
Paresh Patel is no stranger to the IDA, having received a PILOT for a Motel 6 in Niagara Falls in 2007.
In 2011, Patel was approved for a 10-year PILOT on a 75-room Microtel at the Captain’s Cove site, but he said he was not able to obtain a bank loan at the time. The project at the Sunrise Inn site also was approved by the IDA in 2011, when it was supposed to be a Ramada Inn, but it suffered a similar fate..
In other matters Wednesday, the IDA board received an application for a 15-year PILOT on a $12.45 million expansion of the Praxair plant on Royal Avenue in the Falls. The company wants to erect a steam methane reformer on a vacant brownfield it owns, in hopes of using natural gas to produce raw hydrogen it can use for its main product, liquid hydrogen.
The project would add eight jobs, with an average salary of $78,000, to the existing 89 at the Royal Avenue plant.
The IDA board also granted two tax breaks and two loans. Reid Petroleum of Lockport won a 10-year PILOT for a $1.37 million addition to its company headquarters. Irr Supply Centers of North Tonawanda received a 15-year PILOT for a $2.25 million renovation of its headquarters.
The board approved $25,000 microenterprise loans to WNY Tent & Awning of Niagara Falls, owned by Mary Nadeau, and to Caron Manufacturing of Lockport, a Harrison Place business owned by Bruce Caron. Both loans are for seven years at 5 percent annual interest.
The IDA board also hired Niagara Falls accountant Ralph J. Genovese to perform the quarterly audits of IDA incentive recipients to make sure they are complying with the agency’s policy on local hiring.