MEDINA – The Village Planning Board this evening approved the site plan for the proposed conversion of 511 West Ave. into a hostel.
The board’s OK followed last Thursday’s vote of support for the project by the Orleans County Planning Board.
Andrew Meier, owner of the Hart House Hotel on West Center Street, wants to open the hostel with six rooms. The new business would be called Bunkhaus and would offer a clean and more affordable rest stop on the western end of the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Rochester.
“The proposed hostel in Central Business District will be an excellent addition to Medina’s hospitality industry,” said Chris Busch, Planning Board chairman in Medina. “It will be a great option for bicyclists who are among the more frequent users of the Erie Canal Trail.”
The first floor would have six rooms for the hostel. The two upper apartments would remain. WiFi would be available.
The six former examination rooms would be outfitted with a bunk bed, lounge chair, clothing storage, sink and mirror, and area to store up to two bicycle. An existing bathroom would be shared by all of the patrons.
• The Planning Board this evening also was updated on the construction of the former Bent’s Opera House which is being renovated to become a restaurant, boutique hotel and event space
“We’re extremely pleased to hear of and see the progress made at the Bent’s site,” Busch said. “It is an absolutely massive undertaking that will both preserve and transform the structure for generations to come.”
• The board also was updated on the addition at Zambisto’s on Main Street, which will add room inside for dining and for parties and an option for rooftop dining. There is a target date of May 1 for completion.
“We’re very pleased to see the Zambistro project nearing completion,” Busch said. “This project is unique in that it is the first new building construction in the Historic District in a very long time. The addition of rooftop dining is also a first for Medina. Such rooftop venues are generally seen in metropolitan areas like Buffalo where they have become very popular, attracting patrons from a wide area. We have no doubt that it will do the same here and will be a tremendous addition to Medina’s burgeoning culinary scene.”
• Construction of the new Cobblestone Inn and Suites, a 58-room hotel, also is expected to get started in May on Maple Ridge Road.