Legal Battle Emerges Over Hotel Niagara Renovation Project

Syracuse developer Faisal Merani and his company, Merani Hotel Group Inc., have filed a lawsuit against Edward Riley and his firm, Brine Wells Development, over the Hotel Niagara renovation project in Niagara Falls. The lawsuit alleges that Riley violated their development contract by abruptly terminating their partnership in April after 15 months of collaboration. Merani claims that he was supposed to be the sole agent and representative for seeking approvals and signing contracts for the $50.8 million project. The lawsuit seeks at least $2 million in damages and an injunction to block the project from proceeding without Merani’s involvement.

The lawsuit, filed by law firm Hodgson Russ LLP in State Supreme Court in Niagara County, accuses Riley of breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Merani asserts that he and his firm spent over 1,000 hours advancing the project, which Riley and Brine Wells would now benefit from without compensating Merani. The suit claims that Riley’s conduct will cause irreparable harm to Merani’s reputation with financing partners, contractors, and governmental officials.

Edward Riley declined to comment on the lawsuit, stating that he is working on a response with his attorney. Empire State Development officials and the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency also declined to comment due to pending litigation. The lawsuit does not currently affect the agency’s potential action, as tax breaks would only be granted if work is performed.

Faisal Merani is a prominent hotel developer with properties on both sides of the US-Canada border. Brine Wells Development has been working on plans to renovate the historic Hotel Niagara for over seven years. The hotel, located at 201 Rainbow Blvd., opened in 1925 but has since declined. Riley’s plan is to transform it into a new four-diamond hotel with various amenities.

The Hotel Niagara renovation project faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting its financing. Merani claims that Riley violated their agreement by engaging in conversations with another developer and falsely accusing Merani of failing to advance the project. Merani denies these allegations.

More Posts

Bank First Corporation (NASDAQ: BFC) has announced its financial results for the second quarter of …

Universal Technical Institute, the transportation, skilled trades, and energy education division of Universal Technical Institute, …

EQT Corporation, a leading independent natural gas production company, has declared a quarterly cash dividend …