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New development plans for the former Hotel Cadillac

Jeremy Moule
CITY Newspaper

There may be new life coming to some old hotel buildings on Chestnut Street in downtown Rochester.

The buildings are the Hotel Cadillac, and a building next door, the former Richford Hotel.

Local developer Lou Giardino says he’s taking over the project from DHD Ventures, which originally had planned to redevelop that historic building.

Giardino is working with a partner, Voyager Hotel Group from Los Angeles, and is planning a $16 million renovation which would have the Cadillac become what Giardino describes as an 80-room luxury hotel.

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He says that hotel would be under the banner of the Choice Hotel chain, with their 'Ascend' brand, which features historic and boutique hotels.

He feels the hotel is in a key part of downtown Rochester.

"We think the location is amazing, we are a block from the (Eastman Theatre), we are a block from the Strong Museum, we are around the corner from the Little Theatre we are basically in the Midtown Rising District," Giardino said.

Giardino hopes to have the renovations completed by this time next year.

After that project is completed, he wants to focus on the former Richford Hotel, and turn that into a 100 room hotel which would include a salon, spa and meeting rooms. 

Even with these projects adding 180 hotel rooms in the center city, Giardino still sees plenty  of demand downtown for hotel space, particularly with plans to demolish the Riverside Hotel on Main Street and redevelop that site.

"There's going to be a vacuum for hotel rooms for the next couple of years and it has to be satisfied somehow, so, even if there wasn't any increase in the demand for hotel rooms, which I don't believe, there still is going to be a need to provide for those hotel rooms that are going to be lost by the Riverside Hotel being demolished," Giardino said.

Giardino also wants to construct an automated parking facility next to the former Richford Hotel.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.