A new Tupper Lake hotel is among the projects on a state grant wish list released last week by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. The new hotel proposed for here was one of 17 priority projects listed by the regional group.
The NCREDC has been very successful in recent years, winning millions of dollars in grant money from the state's economic development agency's annual pool, competing against similar regional agencies covering the entire state.
The Tupper Lake priority project is a $10.9 million hotel that Tupper Lake native Rick LaMere's company is proposing to build on a three-acre parcel on Demars Blvd.
Mr. LaMere, who relocated with his family to Virginia over a decade ago, is associated with the NorthSouth Construction Co. which helps build major hotels.
His company is headquartered in Midlothian, VA.
Mr. LaMere's building firm has apparently done a lot of work with Shamin Hotels, which is an upscale hotel chain on the east coast, often erecting new structures for the Hilton chain. Shamin is headquartered in Chester, VA.
Mr. LaMere has been back home in Tupper Lake several times this year, meeting with Mayor Paul Maroun and others on plans to build a major destination hotel here. Some of the meetings have included Community Development consultant Melissa McManus and Franklin County Industrial Development Agency executive director Jeremy Evans.
According to the mayor this week the builder is looking at two sites on “the boulevard”- the former ATS Auto Parts parcel adjacent to several properties Rick's brother Tom owns there and the former Aubuchon and former A&P Store plaza.
“The IDA is ready to help with financing,” said the mayor who is also our county legislator. He also said the Shamin group is also expected to be a partner in this new venture. “Rick's company has built thousands of hotel units for Shamin!”
According to the description in the NCREDC list the new Tupper Lake hotel would cost $10.9 million, with $2.2 million sought in state funding.
“NorthSouth Construction wants to rehabilitate a 3-acre parcel of commercial land... with a lodging hotel to promote tourism and private investments. The new facility affiliated with the Tru by Hilton brand would feature 75 rooms, a breakfast dining area, an indoor pool, a fitness room, a business center, a small market and an outdoor patio area. The hotel is projected to create 20 hotel jobs and 100 construction jobs.”
Other priority projects looking for state money in this area include a new $6.5 million headquarters for Saranac Lake's Pendragon Theater, a $4.8 million building and commercial center for Citizen Advocates in Malone and a $1.6 million renovation of space at Adirondack Health to provide pulmonary rehabilitation and physical therapy services. A fourth local project is $2.3 million restoration of the Trudeau home in Saranac Lake into a public museum dedicated to Dr. E.L. Trudeau's treatment of tuberculosis.
Last year the village board began a quest to secure a major brand-name hotel for this community to help it be more of a destination for tourists.