One of the region’s biggest and most prominent suburban hotels is going up for auction, as the owners of the Millennium Airport Hotel Buffalo seeks to unload the Cheektowaga hotel property at a time when the hospitality industry is still struggling amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The 301-room hotel next to the Walden Galleria will be sold through a three-day online bidding process, which will be administered through Ten-X from Sept. 6 to 8. The starting bid for the eight-story building is $2 million, and the online auction listing from brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap notes that it is being sold “unencumbered by management and debt” and “free and clear of leases and franchise obligations.”
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That indicates that the nearly 50-year-old full-service hotel will likely not remain under the banner of the Millennium Hotels and Resorts chain, which it has been since 2005. Millennium operates the hotel under a lease that is expiring, but the hotel property is owned by Josephine G. Malecki, Francis Fuest, Kevin Zola, Eugene P. Zola, Ronald Juzdowski and Christine Davies.
“This location is an established base of operations,” the listing said. “The neighborhood surrounding the hotel is a popular hospitality resting place. It offers a wide variety of support amenities plus many restaurants including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Panera, Applebee’s and more.”
The real estate listing describes the hotel as a “capital-starved asset” and an “excellent value-add opportunity” for a buyer that wants to “reposition” or rebrand the hotel, or convert it to “alternative residential use.” It cites the property’s availability “significantly below replacement cost.”
And it notes the hotel’s location “only minutes” or 3.3 miles from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, within walking distance to the region’s largest shopping mall at 1.6 million square feet, and adjacent to the Thruway, with proximity to Canada.
Built in 1973, the upscale hotel stands on 8 acres at 2040 Walden Ave., and includes 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as Walden’s Restaurant and Twigs Lounge. Previously a Four Points by Sheraton, the operation was taken over as part of a package of hotels in 1999 by London-based Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a hospitality management and real estate firm that owns, manages and operates more than 145 hotels in 80 locations .
Millennium & Copthorne, which operates under the Millennium Hotels brand, is the hotel division of Singapore-based City Developments Ltd., a real estate company that itself is owned by the Hong Leong Group.
It touts that its properties are located in “key gateway cities” such as London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. In the United States, it has 15 hotels, including four in New York City, as well as locations in Anchorage, Alaska; Boston; Boulder, Colo.; Chicago; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; and Scottsdale, Ariz.