Orleans EDA acquires 5 acres in Medina that could be used for hotel

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The Orleans Economic Development Agency is stepping up its efforts to bring a chain hotel to the county.

The Orleans Land Restoration Corporation, one of the EDA’s development arms, bought 5 acres of land on Maple Ridge Road for $50,000 last month. That property includes an abandoned house and overgrown yard.

The house will be razed and the land cleaned up, said Jim Whipple, EDA chief executive officer. The EDA will need to do an asbestos survey on the house before it comes down. The house was bought in a bank foreclosure sale on July 15.

The property sits between Takeform Architectural Graphics and a proposed spot for Pride Pak, a Canadian company that is looking to spend at least $10 million for a vegetable processing facility.

The abandoned house and overgrown property “looks bad” when the EDA shows potential developers the Medina Business Park and other land available for development, Whipple said.

The EDA has been working to facilitate construction of a new hotel on Maple Ridge Road in Medina. The EDA has talked with Cobblestone Inn and Suites about a project in Medina. That company has built many hotels in small towns, typically working with investors in the host community.

Whipple said an investor is interested in a Medina hotel, but first is working to finish another project. Whipple said he expects that investor will make a decision about whether to pursue a project in Medina this fall.

The EDA hired a consultant to study the market for a hotel in Medina. Interim Hospitality Consultants concluded last October that a small hotel with 41 to 49 rooms would be profitable in the community.

The EDA sees the land on Maple Ridge Road across from GCC as an ideal location because the site already has infrastructure – water, sewer and electricity – within the village.

The chain hotel would be a lift for the area, boosting bed tax for tourism, sales tax for the county and state, and other spending in the community, EDA officials said.

It would also be a plus for businesses to know they would have an option for visiting professionals, consultants and staff to stay in a local chain hotel without having to go out of county.

“Right now they’re not staying here,” Whipple said. “There’s a level of hospitality we don’t offer in Orleans County. We want to encourage a hotel and we’re investigating ways to help.”

The EDA’s Land Restoration Corporation bought the house and land in Medina with some of the funds from the $176,000 sale of an Albion warehouse to BOMET, which is based in Cambridge, Ontario. That company has upgraded the warehouse and will use it as a base for recycling electronics.