AMHERST - By Spring of 2017, the old Lord Amherst Motor Lodge will re-open as The Reikart House, an upscale boutique hotel.
“Conventional wisdom would have called for us to demolish this building to make room for the redevelopment of this fantastically relocated site,” says Paul Iskalo, founder and CEO of Iskalo Development, the owner of the property.
But instead, the company decided to save the exterior design, the work of architect Dean Lyman, and work to transform the inside. When completed, the hotel will have 93-rooms, including a dozen suites.
The hotel is near where Main Street passes over Interstate 290, and close to five of the top ten richest zip codes in Erie County.
"That’s the audience we’re targeting. The people that want to stay and get that local upscale, authentic experience with a high level of service,” says Iskalo.
The reported $20M transformation of the property also comes with a pair of one-million dollar tax-breaks from the Amherst IDA. One of the incentives, rejected by the agency was awarded to Iskalo in a legal appeal. The IDA is challenging that ruling.
David Chiazza explains that the Reikart House project itself would not have been possible without the tax breaks,
"We knew the project was in an enhancement zone and eligible for incentives at the time that we bought it," he said. "That was factored into the equation of buying the property and figuring out hat we wanted to do with it from the get-go.”
Iskalo purchased the old motel in 2011.