Featured in Buffalo Business First 2021 Book of Lists: Eastern Companies Ranked for Oldest Buffalo Multi-Generation Family Business
Eastern Hospitality Advisors was ranked #34 for Oldest Buffalo Multi-Generation Family Businesses by Buffalo Business First and featured in the annual Buffalo Business First Book of Lists 2021 edition.
Featured in Buffalo Business First 2021 Book of Lists: Eastern Companies Rank #5 Top General Contractor
Eastern Hospitality Advisors was ranked #5 for Top General Contractors by Buffalo Business First and featured in the annual Buffalo Business First Book of Lists 2021 edition.
Featured in Buffalo Business First 2021 Book of Lists: Who’s Building WNY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2021
Eastern Hospitality Celebrates the Grand Opening of New Home2 Suites Hotel in Wayne, New Jersey
WAYNE, NJ, January 4, 2021 – Eastern Hospitality Advisors, a fourth-generation, family-owned construction management company, celebrated the completion of the construction of the Home 2 Suites hotel (by Hilton) in Wayne, New Jersey, located at 350 US Route 46. Eastern completed the project for client, DC Hospitality Group.
Located less than 20 minutes from New York City and close-by area shopping, museums, lake communities and William Paterson University, the 120-room, 4-story hotel will surely attract both travelers of business and recreation, alike. Eastern Hospitality Advisors, a fourth-generation, family-owned construction management company, celebrated the completion of the construction of the Home 2 Suites hotel (by Hilton) in Wayne, New Jersey, located at 350 US Route 46. Eastern completed the project for client, DC Hospitality Group.
“There is no question that the hospitality industry has seen a rough year,” said Sam LaGambina, President, Eastern Companies. “Given the severity of the pandemic, Eastern Companies immediately implemented safety protocols and procedures that allowed us to continue with the construction of one of the newest Hilton-branded hotel in the vicinity. We are pleased to add the Home2 Suites hotel to our list of many completed projects in this region. We believe the Home2 Suites will serve as a top player in the hospitality sector for this area, offering comfortable and inviting accommodations. Despite the obstacles caused by the pandemic, Eastern Companies, along with the cooperation of the ownership, DC Hospitality Group, was able to deliver this project with great efficiency. We are confident that the hotel will be successful into the future and wish nothing but the best for the owners.”
Offering a free and safer, simplified breakfast, in-suite kitchens, complimentary wi-fi in both the lobby and each guestroom, 24-7 fitness center, pool and pet-friendly suites, the Home2 aims to please.
The Home2 Suites (by Hilton) located in Wayne, New Jersey.
Home2 Suites by Hilton, one of the fastest-growing brands in Hilton’s history, is a mid-tier, all-suite, award-winning extended-stay hotel concept designed to offer stylish accommodations with flexible guestroom configurations and inspired amenities for the cost-conscious guest. The brand remains committed to environmentally friendly products and hotel operations.
Eastern Companies is a full-service parent company to development, construction, procurement and hospitality related service subsidiaries active throughout Western New York and the United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, Eastern offers turn-key contracting services. As the preferred construction concierge, Eastern approaches each client with dedicated passion, unmatched talent and an international cultural understanding to help clients build success. Eastern Companies has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. Trusted for 37 years, Eastern Companies is known for its expertise, spanning commercial construction and development industries. For more information, please visit: www.eastern-companies.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15th, 2020
First Massachusetts avid™ hotel Opens; Exemplifies Industry Hope in New Year
REVERE, MA, December 15, 2020 – Last week, the grand opening of the very first avid™ hotel property in the state of Massachusetts, avid hotel Boston Logan – Revere, was unveiled with eager enthusiasm, flourishing resilience, and anticipated success. The event offered a glimpse into the recovering hospitality industry – a stark account of the tenacious spirit and commonality optimistic owners and builders alike have moving into the new year.
Ketan Patel, Owner of Revere Hotel Realty, LLC in partnership with Buffalo-based Eastern Hospitality Advisors, an award-winning, fourth-generation hotel and commercial construction management firm, announce the grand opening of the 104-room avid hotel by IHG Hotels & Resorts in the city of Revere.
“Our team is pleased to have completed the construction of the first avid hotel in the State of Massachusetts, for the Owner,” said Eastern Hospitality’s CEO and Partner, Shane Vanstrom. Over the past few months, despite the notion of uncertainty that we have all experienced in the hospitality and construction industries, we were still pleased to work diligently to complete the avid in good time and within budget. We can offer confirmation that we are still seeing a fair amount of hotel and business owners, looking to build or renovate. We are proud to have been selected to build the hotel, as well as five other ongoing projects in the northeast region.”
Located at 405 American Legion Highway, the five-story avid hotel is situated in close-proximity to Boston Logan International Airport. The property features contactless guest check-in, free high-speed Wi-Fi for guests through IHG Connect, complimentary grab-and-go breakfast, 24/7 fitness center and large, and multi-purpose areas in the lobby which can be used by guests for work or relaxation. “We were pleased to work with Ketan on this project and we have no doubt in the success of this hotel under his ownership,” said Vanstrom. “We wish him the best as he opens a hotel that caters to not only what travelers have been asking for, but also offers an open and vast workspace, perfect for the remote-working conditions we are experiencing.” Spacious guestrooms offer large windows for maximum natural light, modern open-storage and walk-in showers. A convenient marketplace offers necessities for guests.
“We congratulate Revere Hotel Realty, an affiliate of Bijal Hospitality and the other partners involved in this project on the opening of the first avid hotel in Massachusetts,” said Mitchell Salaman, Vice President, Development, IHG. “One of our newest brands in the mainstream category, the unique avid hotels experience is resonating with travelers and we believe this property will thrive due to its proximity to one of the country’s busiest airports, major roadways and area attractions.”
Launched in 2017, avid hotels has grown rapidly with more than 200 new hotel properties signed since launch and new properties under construction across the US, Canada and Mexico. The brand is purpose-built and offers the type of hospitality its guests value most – the essentials that make a difference and experiences that feel just right, every time. Guests at avid hotels properties can expect a superior guest stay, including a great night’s sleep, a grab-and-go, complimentary breakfast and seamless technology.
While visiting an IHG hotel, guests and hotel staff can be reassured that cleanliness is top of mind throughout each step of the on-property experience. The company’s longstanding commitment to rigorous cleaning procedures includes the IHG Way of Clean program developed with Ecolab and Diversey, both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies. The program, initially launched in 2015, features deep cleaning with disinfectants coupled with enhanced COVID-19-specific protocols and best practices, developed with experts from the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, as a part of the IHG family of brands, avid hotel Boston Logan Airport – Revere offers guests additional peace of mind with the IHG Clean Promise. Guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness, and if not, the hotel will make it right.
The new avid (an IHG hotel) conveniently located nearby Boston Logan International Airport.
Eastern Companies is a full-service parent company to development, construction, procurement and hospitality related service subsidiaries active throughout Western New York and the United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, Eastern offers turn-key contracting services. As the preferred construction concierge, Eastern approaches each client with dedicated passion, unmatched talent and an international cultural understanding to help clients build success. Eastern Companies has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. Trusted for 36 years, Eastern Companies is known for its expertise, spanning commercial construction and development industries. For more information, please visit: www.eastern-companies.com
Travel & Tourism News
By James Fink – Reporter, Buffalo Business First December 12, 2019
Buffalo-based Eastern Cos., parent to Eastern Hospitality Advisors, has been awarded a contract to build a 120-room, four-story La Quinta Hotel in Revere, Mass.
Construction on the 70,166-square-foot hotel, located eight miles north of Boston, will start next month and should be completed by early 2020.
The La Quinta is one of several hotel developments Eastern Cos. has in the Massachusetts market. Others include an Avid branded hotel, also in Revere, a Holiday Inn Express in Randolph and a Hampton Inn in North Attleboro.
Eastern Cos. Wins Hotel Construction Project for Boston Area
By Jonathan D. Epstein, The Buffalo News
Published December 11, 2019
Buffalo-based Eastern Cos. — parent of Eastern Hospitality Advisors — has won another contract to build a hotel in the greater Boston area.
Eastern will complete construction of a La Quinta Hotel in Revere, Mass., with 120 rooms on four floors, plus a fitness center and pool. Work on the hotel is slated to begin in January, with completion by the first quarter of 2021.
Eastern is already working on construction projects in that area for a new Holiday Inn Express and Mexicali Restaurant in Randolph, an Avid Hotel in Revere and a Hampton Inn in North Attleboro.
Eastern Hospitality Advisors Rebrands as it Expands
By Staff, The Buffalo News
Published October 15, 2019
Eastern Hospitality Advisors, a leading provider of turn-key construction management services, announced today the launch of its new corporate brand identity and company name, now Eastern Companies, with a redesigned logo, and plans for a new website. Eastern’s leadership determined the need to update and refresh the brand to better align with the company’s current positioning and core competencies. This brand launch comes at a time when the company is evolving its service offerings, expanding its reach into several United States markets, and celebrating its 35th anniversary.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15th, 2019
Eastern, which has 25 employees in Buffalo, builds and renovates commercial, retail and hospitality properties. The company has expanded its portfolio into more states, and said it wanted its name to reflect that it builds more than just hotels.
Earlier this year, founder and former CEO Doug Vanstrom retired, and Shane Vanstrom was named CEO. The company has hired 10 people since April.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15th, 2019
EHA Announces Launch of New Brand and Identity as Eastern Companies: Change Reflects Evolving Business, Expansion with New Divisions & Adoption of New Services
Buffalo, NY – October 15, 2019 – Eastern Hospitality Advisors, a leading provider of turn-key construction management services, announced today the launch of its new corporate brand identity and company name, now Eastern Companies, with a redesigned logo, and plans for a new website. Eastern’s leadership determined the need to update and refresh the brand to better align with the company’s current positioning and core competencies. This brand launch comes at a time when the company is evolving its service offerings, expanding its reach into several United States markets, and celebrating its 35th anniversary.
“In the last few months, Eastern Companies has successfully extended its service offerings while broadening our own U.S. footprint across the Eastern United States, as well as other markets, adding to our portfolio in Tennessee, Texas and Florida,” said Shane Vanstrom, CEO of Eastern Companies. “Our new name reflects the all-encompassing solution to the market and our new website and brand identity better reflects our market-leading position, and clearly demonstrates the full-scale lifecycle of services we bring to our clients throughout the United States. We build more than just hotels and our brand should reflect that.” The company announces four divisions under the Eastern Companies name: Eastern Hospitality Advisors, Eastern Construction, Eastern Development, and Eastern Procurement.
Designed to work effortlessly across digital and physical channels, the new logo shows a crest and gives a nod to the first ever logo, that is associated with the fourth-generation family company, the first of which was started in 1927. Further, the crest also submits a dual representation, as it also denotes a shovel breaking ground – symbolic of the company leading into new locations and new horizons, to help clientele through their suite of services, to break barriers, and build their own successes through commercial development.
The redesigned website will feature easy-to-navigate pages and updated, simplified messaging. The visual design will showcase and celebrate Eastern Companies new brand and diversified portfolio, while the layout is structured to provide a seamless user experience. The site also better highlights the full suite of services Eastern Companies offers, including expert advisory, pre-construction services, construction services, and FF&E procurement and installation to help clients achieve their development, construction, and business goals.
“While our name remains the same, our logo and website have changed significantly to better represent who Eastern Companies is and the value we bring to the market for our clients,” commented Sam Lagambina, President of Eastern Companies. “Our new identity is established, progressive, and professional — words we would use to describe not only our company but also the solutions we provide to companies and our clients who are looking to create their own success.”
In April of 2019, the company announced that Founder, Doug Vanstrom, had retired. Doug remains on the team as an Advisor, working closely with the team and clients. Shane Vanstrom was promoted into the CEO position and Mr. LaGambina advanced as President. Doug says of the leadership changes, “Shane and Sam are proven and respected leaders who have delivered strong operating results through a relentless commitment to our clients and to our people. I am confident that they will lead this company to great success in the years to come.”
To help inform external audiences about the brand change, Eastern Companies has developed a special landing page at https://eastern-companies.com/eastern-companies-brand/
About Eastern Companies:
Eastern Companies is a full-service parent company to development, construction, procurement and hospitality related service subsidiaries active throughout Western New York and the United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, Eastern offers turn-key contracting services. As the preferred construction concierge, Eastern approaches each client with dedicated passion, unmatched talent and an international cultural understanding to help clients build success. Eastern Companies has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. Trusted for 35 years, Eastern Companies is known for its expertise, spanning commercial construction and development industries. For more information, please visit: eastern-companies.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27th, 2019
Eastern Hospitality Advisors Announces New Hires in Face of Executive Changes and Strengthening Business within WNY, Florida and Eastern U.S. Regions
BUFFALO, N.Y. August 27th, 2019 – Eastern Hospitality Advisors (EHA) is pleased to announce that since appointing Shane Vanstrom to CEO and Sam LaGambina to President in April, following long-time Founder and former CEO, Douglas Vanstrom’s retirement, the company has now welcomed eight new full-time hires. Among the new-hires is Kevin Hartwig, Procurement Manager, who now adds FF&E services backed by 20 years of experience. “EHA’s foundation of long-standing vendor relationships, combined with Kevin’s expert oversight offer our clientele exceptional, unsurpassed cost-savings and a one-stop shop service experience,” stated Sam LaGambina, President. Mr. Hartwig’s talent within EHA’s fit-out operations align with every client’s brand standards, for personalized results. The new-hires are symbolic of EHA’s combined strength to better serve the needs of customers within the Eastern United States market and to continue to build great things in the community.
Excellency through Projects, People and Leadership
Latest project wins include the $28 million mixed-use Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Avid Hotel, a new $9.5 million midscale hotel brand by InterContinental Hotels Group, located in Revere, Massachusetts, a $9.6 million Hampton Inn, located in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and several other projects spanning the northeast. “As we continue to expand our capabilities in the Western New York region and other markets within the eastern United States, it is imperative we attract and retain the industry’s top talent to best serve both our long-standing, new and future clients,” said Shane Vanstrom, CEO, Eastern Hospitality Advisors.
Eastern Hospitality Advisors has added the following members to its team:
- Kevin Hartwig, Procurement Manager
- Josh Rorrie, Superintendent
- Will Richardson, Superintendent
- Dave Lyons, Project Manager
- Shawn Corneal, Project Manager
- Stacey Bezon, Administrative Assistant
- Lisa Kilian, Account Clerk
- Kim Collignon, Marketing Manager
- Mike Bezon, Field Superintendent
Shane Vanstrom has been with Eastern Hospitality Advisors, learning every facet of the business, since starting with EHA the day after he graduated from college 13 years ago. Sam LaGambina is a seasoned construction professional with nearly 30 years of experience, having worked in a leadership capacity for most of that time. He has worked for two of Buffalo, New York’s most prominent real estate development companies as well as for a notable real estate development/construction management company in Sarasota, Florida, and an ENR Top 100 specialty contractor. Sam will be celebrating his third anniversary with EHA this coming October.
This announcement comes with the successful culmination of a multiyear succession plan. Shane and Sam have worked closely with Douglas Vanstrom over the years. 2019 will be a significant year for EHA as it continues to position itself for the future, expanding their service model across several new markets within the United States.
Eastern Hospitality Advisors is a full-service commercial development company active in Western New York and throughout the Eastern United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, EHA offers turnkey hospitality contracting services. As the premier dedicated hotel construction concierge, with unmatched talent, dedicated passion and international cultural understanding to help clients build success in the hotel industry, EHA has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. EHA has been known for its expertise in commercial and hospitality development, as well as quick, quality turnaround, for over 30 years. For more information, please visit www.eha.us.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Kim Collignon, Marketing Manager
Eastern Hospitality Advisors
Eastern Hospitality Advisors wins $28M contract to complete Finger Lakes resort
By Jonathan D. Epstein, The Buffalo News
Published August 18, 2019 | Updated August 18, 2019
More than four years after work stalled on a new hotel and condominium resort in the Finger Lakes because of a lack of funding, the developer behind the project is moving forward with new financing in place, and hired Buffalo-based Eastern Hospitality Advisors to complete the $28 million job.
The commercial development and construction management firm, which specializes in hotel and hospitality projects, received a contract from developer Robert Murphy to complete the 197,000-square-foot Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort project, which has been delayed since 2015.
Located on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake, the five-story project will include 109 Hilton Tapestry hotel rooms on the first three floors, 44 condos on the top two floors, and a lower level with a restaurant, a wine-tasting room, a full-service spa, a fitness center, two meeting rooms and a banquet facility for large events and weddings. Also planned are an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as a scenic outdoor venue.
The project came to a halt in 2015, but Murphy obtained a new $37 million bridge loan from Acres Capital earlier this year. Work is expected to take about a year to complete, with an opening expected in early summer 2020.
Jonathan D. Epstein – Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers commercial and residential real estate and development. He has worked at The News since 2004.
Eastern Hospitality takes over $28 million Finger Lakes hotel project
By James Fink – Reporter, Buffalo Business First Aug 13, 2019
The long-stalled Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort project has been revived by a Buffalo-based hospitality development firm.
Eastern Hospitality Advisors is leading the $28 million development of a five-story, mixed-use building along the northern end of Canandaigua Lake. The shell of a structure has sat idle for years along the Ontario County waterfront.
Plans call for the 197,000-square-foot building to be anchored by a 109 room Hilton Tapestry hotel on three floors and 44 market-rate condominiums on the top two floors.
Also planned is a restaurant, wine tasting room, full service spa, fitness center, two meeting rooms, a banquet center.
Playing off its lakeside presence, the complex will also have an outdoor pool, hot tub and tents.
“The resort is an integral component to the long-term development plans of the Finger Lakes region,” said Sam LaGambina, Eastern Hospitality president and partner. “The resort was designed keeping the Finger Lakes beauty in mind.”
LaGambina said he anticipates that the project will take approximately one year to complete, with the resort and hotel opening in early summer of 2020.
James Fink covers real estate, commercial development and government for Buffalo Business First.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13th, 2019
Eastern Hospitality Advisors Offers Glimpse at Future of Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort; Completion Date
BUFFALO, N.Y. August 13th, 2019 – Eastern Hospitality Advisors was awarded a contract to complete the once stalled Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort project with a construction value of $28 million. The highly anticipated Resort will be five stories, comprised of 109 Hilton Tapestry hotel rooms on the first three floors, 44 condominiums on the top two floors, and a lower level that presents a restaurant, a wine-tasting room – where guests can savor locally sourced wines, a full-service spa, and a fitness room. Additionally, the property maintains two meeting rooms, and a stunning banquet facility to host large events and weddings. The property showcases a scenic outdoor venue, complete with tents. There will also be a relaxing outdoor pool and hot tub for guests. The project spans 197,000 square feet and is appropriately situated on the north end of Canandaigua Lake.
“The Resort is an integral component to the long-term development plans of the Finger Lakes region. Our objective is to complete this destination complex on-time and within budget,” stated Sam LaGambina, President & Partner of Eastern Hospitality Advisors. “The Resort was designed keeping the Finger Lakes beauty in mind.” EHA anticipates that the project will take approximately one year to complete, with the resort and hotel opening in early summer of 2020.
Eastern Hospitality Advisors is a full-service commercial development company active in Western New York and throughout the Eastern United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, EHA offers turnkey hospitality contracting services. As the premier dedicated hotel construction concierge, with unmatched talent, dedicated passion and international cultural understanding to help clients build success in the hotel industry, EHA has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. EHA has been known for its expertise in commercial and hospitality development, as well as quick, quality turnaround, for over 30 years. For more information, please visit easternhospitalityadvisors.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Kim Collignon, Marketing Manager
Eastern Hospitality Advisors
Eastern Hospitality Advisors Ranked as #9 for General Contractors in Book of Lists, 2019
Eastern Hospitality Advisors Announces Leadership Changes
Eastern Hospitality Advisors announced two appointments to succeed Douglas Vanstrom, current President and CEO, who recently announced his retirement. Effective April 2, 2019, Shane Vanstrom has been appointed CEO and Sam LaGambina has been appointed President
Douglas Vanstrom, who founded Eastern Hospitality Advisors in 1984, has served as President and CEO since the company’s inception and will remain with the company in the role of advisor. He will remain involved with the continued growth of the company.
“I am pleased to announce Shane Vanstrom as our next CEO and Sam LaGambina as our next President,” said Douglas Vanstrom. He continued to say that “Shane and Sam are proven and respected leaders who have delivered strong operating results through a relentless commitment to our clients and to our people. I am confident that they will lead this company to great success in the years to come.”
Vanstrom also commented “Having served 34 years as President and CEO for over two decades in an executive leadership role, I feel this is the right time for a leadership change. It has been my honor and privilege to serve this great company. I am proud of the people of Eastern Hospitality Advisors and the businesses we are building.”
Shane Vanstrom has been with Eastern Hospitality Advisors, learning every facet of the business, since starting with EHA the day after he graduated from college 13 years ago. Sam LaGambina is a seasoned construction professional with nearly 30 years of experience, having worked in a leadership capacity for most of that time. He has worked for two of Buffalo, New York’s most prominent real estate development companies as well as for a notable real estate development/construction management company in Sarasota, Florida, and an ENR Top 100 specialty contractor. Sam will be celebrating his third anniversary with Eastern Hospitality Advisors this coming October.
This announcement comes with the successful culmination of a multiyear succession plan. Shane and Sam have worked closely with Douglas Vanstrom over the years, and we look forward to what they will bring to the company. 2019 will be a significant year for Eastern Hospitality Advisors as it continues to position itself for the future.
Shane and Sam have both stated that they are honored to be named CEO and President, respectively, and would like to thank Douglas Vanstrom for his confidence in them to lead this organization and their efforts to grow the company.
Abandoned Dunlop offices on Grand Island could become hotel
By Jonathan D. Epstein, The Buffalo News
Published July 24, 2015
The long-vacant former Dunlop Tire Corp. headquarters building on Grand Island near the north I-190 bridges could be converted into a Holiday Inn Express – if the veteran hotel operator behind the plan can get tax breaks to help defray costs.
Jayesh Patel, CEO of Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels, said he is considering a $5.3 million renovation of the derelict former office building into a limited-service hotel with 75 to 90 rooms, plus a breakfast bar area, lobby and two business meeting rooms.
Details are still in flux, and he stressed that the project is not yet definite, as there are “many components still in the works,” he said. Firmer plans may still be a month away, he said.
In particular, he said he intends to submit paperwork next month to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency seeking tax incentives or other assistance in reusing the neglected building at 2761 Long Road, widely viewed as an eyesore visible from the nearby interstate highway. Plans also would have to be filed and approved by the town of Grand Island.
“If they all get on board, then yes, we would like to bring life to this building,” Patel wrote in an email. Construction could begin by November and be completed within 10 months.
Patel bought the 72,600-square-foot building in January 2014 from James Metz’s JSJ Holdings, paying $850,000 to the owner of Beauty Pools in Lancaster. Metz had taken over the 28.8-acre property, then run-down and covered in grafitti, after repossessing it in a foreclosure from former partners who defaulted on a mortgage he held. Metz had planned to spend more than $2 million to restore the building and market it as Gateway Center, but those plans never succeeded.
The three-story white building with a slatted facade was the former North American headquarters of Dunlop Tire, but hasn’t been occupied since 1993. It was originally built in the 1960s for Hooker Chemical & Plastics Corp., but Dunlop took it over in the 1970s.
It includes large floor plates of 24,200 square feet each, plus an indoor parking garage, and had been marketed as either office space or an apartment conversion. Patel originally had said he expected a mixed-use project, with retail and offices on the first floor and residential space on the upper two. Significant work was expected just to fix environmental and infrastructure problems.
“We are pleased that the Patels look like they are interested in developing it,” said Grand Island Town Supervisor Mary Cooke. “It’s such an eyesore, and we are hoping that the Patels are the ones that can put it together.”
Eastern Hospitality Advisors of Buffalo, a hotel construction firm, has already been hired as the construction manager for the project. Douglas Vanstrom said the building’s exterior look will change. “It’s going to not really look like that,” he said. “It’s going to look more like you would expect to see a Holiday Inn Express look.”
Cooke said Patel’s firm has been working to remove asbestos from the building, a giant task given the building’s size. However, most of that work has been inside, so local residents and observers wouldn’t notice it from the outside. “It’s the nature of the beast,” she said. “A whole lot of time and money is being spent, but you don’t get to see results.”
She said designers representing Patel have approached town officials with some general site questions, but nothing specific regarding his plans.
“It’s such a prominent building. Everyone gets to see it, and it’s a source of consternation for many of our residents and visitors,” she said. “So I’m cautiously optimistic that this is going to turn out and be a very positive thing very soon.”
Patel’s firm now operates more than two dozen hotels in Western New York, Rochester, and Syracuse, as well as in Bradford, Pa., Georgia and Baltimore.
It’s also affiliated with four restaurants and lounges in Williamsville, Buffalo, Batavia and Hamburg.
Patel recently acquired the University Manor Inn and the Boulevard Inn, both in Amherst, and is proposing a four-story Hampton Inn on Camp Road in Hamburg, at the site of the Hideaway Bar & Restaurant and next to a Quality Inn and Super 8 at 5440 Camp Road.
Jonathan D. Epstein – Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers commercial and residential real estate and development. He has worked at The News since 2004.
Eastern Hospitality Advisors – Second-to-none Hospitality Construction Services in Buffalo, New York
Since 1984, the biggest names in hospitality have counted on Eastern Hospitality Advisors (EHA) of Buffalo, New York, for quality construction of hotels, motels and extended stay accommodations. Douglas Vanstrom founded the business more than 30 years ago as a commercial construction management operation. In 1985, the business picked up its first hotel project and has since grown, fostering a reputation for value and dependability.
For several years the business maintained a broad scope of work in the commercial sector before shifting focus to the hospitality market exclusively. EHA’s footprint has expanded to include projects across the U.S., though Vanstrom says work is still concentrated in the Northeast. With an additional office in Philadelphia, the company’s staff consists of 31 full-time employees.
“Because we specialize solely in hotels, we aren’t distracted by any other markets,” says Vanstrom. “We have become a household name in hospitality construction. We do our best to provide impeccable service and save money for our clients.”
A growing portfolio
The firm’s track record for quality construction has attracted major hospitality brands over the years. EHA has completed projects for Hilton, Howard Johnson, Best Western, LaQuinta, Holiday Inn, Marriott and other well-known chains of hotels and motels. With over 100 years of combined expertise and the resources to provide quality and value on a national scale, the company continues to expand its portfolio, reaching new markets and new brands on a regular basis.
EHA just finished the new Spring Hill Suites for Marriott in Bridgeport, West Virginia. This hotel project serves as a prototype for the chain. At four stories and 97 rooms, the 66,635-square-foot project was completed on a tight schedule – just under one year. Marriott, a repeat client of the firm, relied on EHA to turn around an efficient and successful project and saved $300,000 versus what the chain would have paid another contractor.
Another recent project for an important repeat client is the Hampton Inn in Niagara Falls, New York. The four-story, 79-room hotel was completed ahead of schedule and opened in June 2014. EHA was able to fast-track the project, reducing construction time by two months and saving the owner $394,000.The hotel received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015.
EHA has a strong and growing backlog. Currently underway, the company is on-site at projects including a new Hampton Inn at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and another in Yonkers, New York. The firm is also launching an endeavor for Aloft, a growing airport hotel chain, and continues to serve its many repeat hospitality clients.
Steady, progressive growth
Vanstrom and his colleagues use traditional measures to gauge success – margins and sustainable growth are important indicators. “We also think about our success in terms of completed contracts and satisfied customers,” he says. “We want to do what we set out to do, meet our projection and deliver a quality end product. Around 90 percent of our business comes from repeat customers, which is important in this market.”
The leadership team takes great pride in the company’s longevity. However, even after years of success and growth Vanstrom says his team faces different challenge every day. “There is so much to be done and so many engines to keep running,” he explains. “That’s what gets me excited to come to work every day.”
EHA has been able to grow and become a preferred builder for all the major flagship hotel chains. On regular basis, the business has excelled at addressing franchise changes and continuous updating and prototypes. Few contractors rival EHA in this kind of experience, which makes the company an ideal construction partner for major hotels.
Over the coming years, Vanstrom is looking forward to continued growth. “We are going to continue to raise the bar in what we are able to do and where we are able to go,” he explains. “Our company is one of the biggest in the country that is right on the cutting edge of all the changes that are going on in this industry. We don’t want to grow too quickly, but we are looking at steady, sustained growth over the next few years.”
By maintaining strong relationships with clients and keeping an up-to-date network of reliable, capable subcontractors, the company has a strong future. Eastern Hospitality Advisors will continue to provide leading service, quality construction and accountability to major hotel brands around the U.S.
2011 Best places to work: Eastern Hospitality Advisors
By Brian Castner, Buffalo Spree Magazine
For a certain class of business travelers—road warriors racking up frequent flier miles and hotel points—brand loyalty trumps all. The major hotel chains have built their empires on offering consistent experiences across the country, familiarity providing comfort to those always in a new city. But who builds such hotels, notes the details, sets the feel, picks the right (not the almost-right) furnishings and finishes?
“The parent companies have stiff design criteria and standards,” says Doug Vanstrom, president of Eastern Hospitality Advisors, as we sit in his spacious office overlooking the corner of Delaware and North in downtown Buffalo. “Everything from the furniture [and] the look of the building [to] the signature items. … We work with all the brands: Holiday Inn, Hilton, Choice, Comfort, Marriott.”
EHA builds and renovates hotels, and that’s all they do. “We like to be hired at the inception, to work with lenders, the design team, the hotel brand, the local industrial development agency,” says Vanstrom. “We want to save our clients money through value engineering. We find the best way to solve each design challenge. Why run extra cable fiber if you don’t need to?”
This singular focus on hotels has paid off, as EHA is one of the biggest firms in the country specializing in such work, constructing Hamptons and Candlewoods from Massachusetts to California. How did a leader of the industry end up in Buffalo? “We love Buffalo,” Vanstrom tells me. “I’m from Jamestown, third generation in construction management. I built my first hotel in 1984. We love being downtown, and we love doing work here.”
That work includes a new Holiday Inn in Hamburg, a Best Western in Lackawanna, and a Hampton Inn in Niagara Falls. John Cleary, director of business development, is proudest of another project, four years in the making: “We just signed our contract with Fouad Bou-Jaude to help him turn a troubled property on Main Street near the Medical Campus into a Sleep Inn, with room to expand or add retail and office space. It will be a great fit for families of patients visiting their loved ones, and it’s a major investment in the area.”
The enthusiasm on display is not simply about hotels. Underneath the branding design criteria and other industry-specific jargon is old-fashioned pride in having done a job well, and this attitude pervades the small office of ten project managers, financial experts, and developers. Cleary raves about the computers and IT infrastructure, top-of-the-line gear normally reserved for exclusive graphic design firms. The company not only pays for full health insurance coverage but everyone’s dry cleaning as well—a small detail, though not overlooked by the employees in an industry where the size, shape, and location of each hotel room trash can is specified by the parent brand.
Such steps help build a tight knit office, but professionals require more. “They give us the freedom to work,” says Cleary. “No one is looking over your shoulder. As long as you do your job, and do it well, everyone is happy. The emphasis is on personal responsibility.”
And why shouldn’t a sense of trust be pervasive? Vanstrom works down the hall from his son, Shane, the executive vice president. Mariah Ireland, the director of finance, is one of Shane’s former classmates. “I met Mariah when she was in kindergarten,” says Doug Vanstrom. “This is a family.”
“I love working here,” Shane Vanstrom tells me in his office decorated with Sabres memorabilia. “Everyone here would want to go out and have a beer with each other at the same time. How many places can you say that about?”
Brian Castner normally writes about the outdoors for Buffalo Spree, but as a former travelling consultant, he’s pretty sure he has stayed in a couple of hotels built by EHA.