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Hotel Flag Chosen: Marriott Buffalo Harbor Center


An agreement has been reached with Marriott International and Shaner Hotels to develop and operate the hotel facility at HARBORcenter at the foot of Main Street. The 205-room hotel, which has been awarded a full-service Marriott franchise to be operated by Shaner Hotels, will be part of the $170 million multi-use hockey and entertainment complex and will be located at the corner of Main and Scott streets.  A 96-room Courtyard by Marriott will occupy the second through fourth floors of Benderson Development’s One Canalside project across Scott Street from HARBORcenter.

“We are thrilled that we have an agreement with Marriott and Shaner Hotels to operate our hotel facility at HARBORcenter,” said John Koelmel, president of HARBORcenter, LLC. “Our goal is to make HARBORcenter a first-class facility and we have taken a huge step toward that by aligning ourselves with a powerful brand like Marriott and the resources and proven track record that Shaner Hotels brings to its hotel facilities.”

Scheduled to open in spring 2015, the Marriott Buffalo Harbor Center will offer 205 rooms and suites, 5,000 square feet of meeting space for groups up to 450 persons, a fitness center, a business center, high-speed Internet, a sundry/newsstand, and the new Marriott Great Room serving three meals daily, appetizers and beverages.

“As the signature brand of Marriott International, Marriott Hotels & Resorts is one of the most recognized names in the industry,” said Kip Vreeland, Marriott’s Chief Officer, Full Service Franchising.  “Building on our longstanding tradition of hospitality excellence, Marriott is re-imaging the future of travel, with expansive Great Room lobbies that help refresh and recharge; tech-enabled work spaces; and an innovative new Guest Room – a modern blend of style and comfort designed for the way guests work and play today. The result is a modern place where every need is met and exceeded.”

The Buffalo Marriott hotel will feature this contemporary style and design and innovative approaches to delivering service and amenities, featuring the new Guest Room, where style meets substance to help guests transition effortlessly from work time to downtime.

“We are very excited to work with the Pegulas, the HARBORcenter team, the Sabres organization, and Marriott in developing and operating this exciting property,” said Lance Shaner, Chairman of the Shaner Companies. “We look forward to the hotel assisting in the growth of tourism in the downtown area and to help further establish Buffalo as one of the premier hockey markets in North America.”

HARBORcenter will be anchored by two new ice rinks that will be open for community use in addition to a hockey-themed, upscale restaurant and bar, additional retail space and a 850-space parking structure.

Shaner Hotel Group owns and operates 40 hotels, including properties as far west as Edina, Minn., and south to Florida, but with most of the properties in the Northeast. It also has a property in Barga, Italy, according to the company’s portfolio.  State College, Pa.-based Shaner Group is a privately held group of companies with over 2,500 employees that owns and manages a diverse portfolio of businesses that includes hotels, finance, investment management, venture capital and energy production including hydraulic fracking.


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Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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    • elmdog exactly. How did the press release or News report not address this? Would’ve thought, “Marriott books second Canalside location” would’ve been a better headline, followed by an explanation of this planned coexistence.

    • elmdog  
      How is this any different from the 3 Marriott brands right on top of each other across from the airport?  They are different hotels with varied pricing and amenities.  I don’t see what the problem is.

      • sabres1970 elmdog I don’t have a problem with it; I just wanted to see it addressed or even mentioned. As you can see, its omission has elicited questions.

        • buffalomick15 sabres1970 elmdog I travel every week for work and always stay at Marriott properties.  They almost always have several of them near each other.

        • buffalomick15 sabres1970 elmdog Perhaps the Courtyard by Marriott that will be next door is a different operator?  Not Shanor?  I don’t know, just guessing.

  1. WHEW!!
    When I saw the headline, I thought for a moment the rendering in the lead photo was “official”.
    Good news about Marriott.  Now, please — add five more stories onto the hotel . . .

    • I think that is the official rendering.  The hotel design is the actual hotel which replace the earlier slightly more inspired design.  I hope I am wrong but I think this is what you see is what you get.

  2. Anyone think the development of the Webster block would be moving at breakneck speed if it had been awarded to crazy carl?  Maybe the best decision Byron Brown has made since being sworn in as mayor!

  3. It would’ve been awesome if he could’ve pulled in a JW Marriott or a W Hotel.  Maybe in the not-so-distant future.  Awesome news, can’t wait to see the finished product.

  4. Love this project… hate the design… (of lower levels.  The hotel is ok).   I’m hoping this is one of those times where the finished product is much better than the renderings.

  5. This Marriott will likely be THE place for visiting hockey teams to stay.   FYI – the Aud site being built will only be the canals (water/ice rinks) and streets to be opening.  The blocks between them are still to be determined.  Technically, I think the blocks between streets currently near and under the Skyway are also meant to be filled in with development.  The idea is to build the streets and public spaces and the development will follow instead of wait for anchor retailer to come first (like Bass Pro).

      • True about the Children’s Museum, but it’s a relatively small part of
        the larger block and can’t be considered the anchor.  My point is, we’re
        waiting for the Aud block to finally open, but I don’t think there are
        many buildings actually going to open right away.  The point is making an attractive area that retailers and restaurants will want to eventually open in, instead of having to bribe a Bass Pro into coming.  But don’t expect a dense collection of buildings for a few years on the Aud site.

        • Vandra I’m sure retail will follow once these building are up and to see how many people they draw. Retailers look for ‘foot traffic’ and ‘income’ of the traffic. I’m hopeful we’ll soon see major retailers investing in downtown again with all this exciting development.

        • One gripe retailers had despite their supposed attentive interest was that there was no convenient place for masses to park. Since a parking garage was in the original canalside plans, maybe these 900 spaces under construction will suffice for retailers?

  6. Where is the ground-level retail and restaurants? ANYONE??? Someone take Mr. Pegula down Yawkey Way in Boston or Clark St in Chicago. Even Pittsburgh has more on the street downtown than this!

  7. This rendering definitely doesn’t show a friendly ground level commercial presence ….But renderings are never exacts…So this one better not be close…

  8. There’s a lot of potential that can still be added to this project. What does the Hyatt have that this doesn’t? High class apartments. Think about it. I’m sure some Sabres players would love to purchase an apartment right where they work. I believe they should add about 5 or so more floors to the stop strictly for apartments. Maybe even a roof top restaurant. Can’t have too many restaurants at the newest prime hot spot of buffalo right?

    • I believe the Marriott Marriott is the top of their chain?
      The good thing with all these new hotels is that even if Buffalo reaches saturation or over saturation, the crappier ones should fail, leaving the city with an overall better stock of places to stay.

      • The top of the Marriott chain is the Ritz Carlton, followed by J.W. Marriott — but a full service Marriott (what is proposed here) is an equivalent level to a Hilton (where the top level would be Waldorf Astoria, followed by Conrad)… This is actually a really big deal for downtown Buffalo, as the central business district has amazingly not had any Marriott properties. If you talk to frequent business travelers, nearly all have allegience (and elite status) at either Marriott or Hilton (the division is about 50/50). Hilton elites at least had the choice of the Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites or Doubletree (by Roswell). Most Marriott elites stayed in Amherst – if this attracts Marriott business travelers downtown, that will be very good for local restaurants and bars

        • papasmurf516 Don’t forget Starwood (Westin, Sheraton, W, etc.) Which has no representation in WNY right now though there are rumblings of an aloft at the airport and or at Chipewa and Delaware.

  9. Kudos to Terry Pegula! This building is going gangbusters in construction mode, which let’s face it, is highly unusual for WNY where buildings often take seemingly forever to get built. 
    Marriott is a well respected brand and now loyal patrons can stay right in downtown as opposed to way out in Amherst. This project is definitely a win for the city! I’m excited to see it in person when complete (whenever I get back to Buffalo to visit)

  10. Yes, this is great for Canalside. The question that it raises for me regards the future of the Statler and the future of the Hyatt.
    The Hyatt should have gone residential or mixed use long ago and I don’t understand what is stalling the Statler. The Hyatts has never turned a profit to my knowledge and has received 1 taxpayer bailout after another under the justification downtown needed a large hotel for the convention center, hockey and other downtown events. That justification no longer exists.
    The Convention Center is losing its justification at its current location also.
    The Statler is on prime ground next to the federal courthouse and a solidifying government and business district. It shouldn’t be a stalled project year after year.

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