BY JILL NAGY
Responding to community opposition to
plans for a six-story hotel to replace the
Surfside by the Lake on Canada Street in
Lake George Village, owner Salim Amersi
has decided to downsize his project, but
still make improvements to his facility.
Amersi at one point had plans to build
a six-story hotel on the site of his current
A recent zoning change in the village
allows for taller buildings in one area of
downtown. The old law only supported
Amersi’s original plan would have required a variance because his property isn’t within the re-zoned area. The zoning rules where his property lies do not allow a building that tall. Plans had been presented to village officials and the environmental review process was about to begin when Amersi asked the board to table his application.
“It is certainly difficult for us to pursue this variance and we are sure of more obstacles to arise,” he said, noting that the plans would also need approval by the Adirondack Park Agency. “It is a tough decision to demolish 50 rooms that still generate an income and replace it with something less.”
“Still,” he noted, “we shall rethink our plan and shall downsize the new project at the Surfside and reduce the room count to approximately 40 rooms.”
Amersi was somewhat philosophical about the setback.
“I feel that the Planning Board and the ZBA may already have their hands full with the current presented projects and with the potential of forthcoming projects that may present themselves in the short-term in the new approved zone for 72-foot, six-story [structures],” he said.
He termed the new zone, which does not include his property, “a major accomplishment for . . . positive sustainable growth in the village.”
Recently, developer David Kenny announced plans for a six-story Marriott Hotel, with conference center, on Canada Street. It is on the block where Guiseppe’s Pizzeria and John Barleycorn’s Pub now sit, just south of Lake George Central School and across the street from the public library.
That project is within the re-zoned area. For Surfside, however, it is literally back to the drawing board as Amersi plans to meet with his architect, Dan Neary of Saratoga Springs, and come up with an alternative upgrade for the Surfside.
He envisions a new lobby and new rooms that “will secure Surfside Hotel as a major competitor for the next 10 to 15 years, while at the same time, providing personal hospitality services, management fulfillment, and satisfied guests.”
Amersi expects to begin construction in the fall of 2014.
He predicts that his new project “will be a major positive change for the Village of Lake George and a boost to the local economy. . . . I can foresee our investments encouraging other existing business to likewise invest in their businesses in the coming years and also to attract other new business investments in the area.”