A Hotel Amherst Doesn’t Want or Need is Being Stuffed Down the Citizen’s Throat

April 1, 2018

This is the resolution Steve Sanders, a member of the previous Town Board, introduced and that Town Board passed. Uniland is supposed to pay Amherst $50,000 a year to be allowed to build on our prime property, but that is NOT mentioned in Sanders’ resolution. Uniland was given a 72 year lease on this property which is next to our present Northtown Ice Rink.  That is where they will build their 105 room hotel.  That lease does not spell out the $50,000 charge either.

Uniland has already submitted site plans for the hotel.

D: 17954 RESOLUTION 2017-1356 ADOPTED
Page 1
400 Corporate Parkway Deed Restriction
WHEREAS, on July 20, 2015 the Amherst Town Board approved the rezoning of
approximately 1.41 acres of land from OB to GB (Res 2015-766) in order to allow for the
construction of a hotel at 400 Corporate Parkway (part of University Corporate Centre) by the owner of the property, Uniland Development, and
WHEREAS, on October 30, 2017 the Amherst Town Board rezoned a portion of the
Audubon Recreation Complex (Res 2017-1096) and authorized a lease with Uniland
Development to allow for the construction of a hotel at the Audubon Recreation Complex
(Res 2017-1243) by Uniland Development, and
WHEREAS, in a letter dated October 5, 2017 (attached), Uniland Development indicated
that the hotel proposed to be built at the Audubon Recreation Complex is “replacing the
previously proposed hotel at University Corporate Center; it is not in addition to a hotel at that site.”, and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill S6368A (same as Assembly Bill A07888) which authorizes the
alienation of the portion of the Audubon Recreation Complex has been passed unanimously by the State Senate and by the State Assembly but is still waiting to be delivered to the Governor to be either signed or vetoed and without the alienation the project will not be able to proceed, and
WHEREAS, in addition to the alienation approval, there are other hurdles that the
developer must get past before the project moves forward.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Amherst Town Board directs the Building Commissioner to advise the Planning Director when the developer has been issued the Building Permit for the hotel at the Audubon Recreation Complex. Once the permit has been issued, the Planning Department should begin the process of adding a deed restriction to 400 Corporate Parkway to prevent a hotel from being located at that parcel.
12/11/2017
Consent
FINANCIAL IMPACT:
none

The following article shares the negative history of the ice rink.

4 Responses to “A Hotel Amherst Doesn’t Want or Need is Being Stuffed Down the Citizen’s Throat”

  1. Alex says:

    Thanks to the Amherst Times for printing the rest of the story or full story with the hotel on public parkland. This story exposes and reminds us of the shenanigans that went on with the last town board, most glaringly, Steven Sanders, Barry Weinstein, Fran Spoth and Ramona Popovich. The ones who voted themselves a substantial raise; pushed the fifth rink when four were and are losing up to $800,000, annually; allowed the hotel to be built by Uniland on public parkland when they already had permission to build elsewhere; and Imagine Amherst that was routinely steered by, among others, Uniland.

    The Weinstein board wrapped it up December, 2017 after the election and before the new board was seated, leaving them with yet another convoluted mess. Nice to see self-serving politicians are bipartisan and willing to eat their own, when necessary. Next we can expect Uniland to ask for tax credits through the IDA. Mr. Sanders is on that board. Guess how he will vote?

    Has it occurred to anyone that whoever is working in departments or boards who have aided this brand of corruption, be removed, if they have not been already? Why keep throwing good money after bad? These people are not and have not acted in the public’s best interest.

  2. Ron says:

    John Snyder’s comments asking important question about possible tax free favors granted to Uniland should be answered and made public. So far, the information the public has about the joint venture of a hotel on public land and a 5th rink looks disturbingly like corruption or galloping stupidity.

    If Northtown Center has been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars since its beginning, there is a problem. How much have taxpayers paid these people through the years. Weinstein was supposed to be so money-wise, along with Sanders and Marlette. Just whose money were they wisely protecting?

    It is outrageously stupid to keep pouring money into a colossal failure.
    Amherst needs new hires and new talents to turn the tide, and stop rewarding incompetence with another rink and hotel.

  3. John Snyder says:

    Ron: Right on – lets promote privatizing the ice rinks to at least obtain a break even enterprise. Our town geniuses should be crafting ways to save tax dollars rather than buy votes with tax money. Lower taxes and build the tax base.

  4. Chris says:

    Has everyone seen pictures of the ticky-tacky, shoddy hotel that Uniland plans to build on taxpayer parkland?

    Why is it that Amherst allows crap to be built on land, particularly virgin land, in our town? Most of it guaranteed to self-destruct in a generation. Why is it that the people we elect or the people they select have no moral backbone to stand for what is right in our community that benefits the taxpayers for generations? Uniland gets a crazy, lop-sided lease for 72 years? Are they joking? Could it be more obvious?

    This sweetheart arrangement that taxpayers are cursed with was hatched through Weinstein’s last board (Spoth, Sanders and Popovich). They demonstrated that all parties can be corrupted and will sell out a town when the right “carrot” is dangled. Republican, Democratic, Conservative, Independent, makes no difference. BTW. These are the same public servants that voted themselves a substantial raise. More proof of self-serving priorities.