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5 posts categorized "Royal news"

March 21, 2013

New building proposed for deposed Burger King site

After eight years as an empty building gathering dust, a proposed development might mean that it's time to say farewell to Rochester's deposed King.

This royal saga begins with an ending, so here's a slightly condensed version of the history to provide background for the new chapter.

DeposedbksiteIn 2005, the Burger King at 4107 U.S. 52 N. closed its doors after a dispute between franchisee Road Corp., which was owned by Girish Dharod, and the royal fast food corporation ended with all five of Rochester's BKs being shut down.

Burger King shifted the Rochester area franchises to the Twin Cities-based Dolphin Corp., which quickly re-opened three of the five restaurants.

The two others — the North 52 location and the one at 615 S. Broadway — were owned by the Dallas, Texas-based Z’s American Properties. Z's American Properties is owned by Sunil Dharod, Girish's brother.

Eventually, a real estate auction of the two ex-BKs was held in 2006. Dolphin was the top bidder, but Sunil Dharod later rejected the bids.

A frustrated Greg Dolphin said he was ready to “go back to the drawing board" and pursue other Rochester sites to open more Burger Kings. True to his word, Dolphin is planning to build a new restaurant on a long empty chunk of land at the corner of 12th Street Southeast and Marion Road Southeast. When completed, it will be the new home for the BK that's now based in the nearby Cub Food Plaza.

ExbkplanIn the ensuing years, the South Broadway building became the Tex-Mex eatery Rico Mex. That closed in 2008. It was bought up by the University of Minnesota Rochester and demolished to clear the way for a future campus.

Meanwhile, Sunil Dharod's other building sat quietly, tucked away in its nook on the U.S. 52 frontage road

That could all change now that Z's American Properties has filed plans with the city to build a 7,400-square-foot complex. The plans show it split into two units — a 2,400-square-foot restaurant and a 5,000-square-foot retail site. Rochester's McGhie & Betts is handling the design duties.

The building plans were filed with the city this week, so it might be a while before anything happens at the faded fast food site. If the plan does move forward, it'll be interesting to see what restaurant might open there.

Like his brother, Sunil Dharod was a franchisee with Burger King. At one point, he had 18 BKs as well as many Applebee's restaurants. His BKs were auctioned off in 2011. The Dallas Morning News described the split as being "Beset by lawsuits, slumping sales and hard feelings."

Sunil Dharod still has his flourishing portfolio of 43 Applebee's, all of which are in Texas. However, an Applebee's doesn't seem a likely candidate for the new spot, since one is already cooking across the highway. Since the plans include a drive-through window, it looks like some sort of fast food entity is in mind.

January 21, 2011

$1.5M upgrade underway downtown @ Broadway Residences

Noite - The pic of Broadway Residence & Suites was taken by Rochester photographer Chad Johnson. Thanks for letting me use it, Chad.

Owners of Rochester's tallest building are spending more than $1.5 million to upgrade its top floors to a new level of luxury apartments.

Broadway Residence & Suites by BridgeStreet at 15 First Ave. S.E. started construction earlier this month to renovate 17 apartments on its 23rd, 24th and 25th floors.

Chadjohnsonbroadwayresidences Those floors, combined with two $5,500-a-night penthouse apartments on the top floor, will be called "The Residences." Work is expected to be complete in April.

John Beltz, Broadway Residence & Suites' general manager, says the new apartments will meet a growing demand for a level of accommodations between its current highest-end apartment, going for $300 a night, and its penthouse suites.

“What we’re doing is offering a contemporary yet comfortable space to those looking for a five-star hotel alternative while visiting our city," he said.

Once the renovations are complete, The Residences will be two- and three-bedroom apartments, each with a full kitchen, living room and dining room.

Beltz says the fixtures and furniture will reflect the feeling of the current penthouses.

A new concierge lounge also is being added to serve the guests of The Residences.

The price range for these 17 apartments will be $600 to $900 a night.
This announcement follows two very successful years for the tower.

"2010 was the best year we've ever had," said Beltz.

November 30, 2010

While relatives visit Roch., Saudi King takes up NYC hospital wing

Here's some more info on the King of Saudi Arabia and his medical treatment in the U.S.

Some of his family members are currently in Rochester, presumably for their own care at Mayo Clinic, as I I've previously reported. Vacationing in Minnesota in late November would seem like an unconventional choice for Saudi royalty.

However, the king flew off to New York City at the same time as his royal family members flew in here.

Here's some from a New York Post article today about the king and his time in the Big Apple. Thanks for pointing this out, Ed.

King Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is causing his own diplomatic drama at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where the 86 year-old monarch has commandeered an entire wing as he recovers from back surgery on the VIP floor.

King Abdullah -- who repeatedly exhorted the US to "cut the head off the snake" by launching military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear program, according to leaked diplomatic cables -- has forced other patients out by block-booking the hospital's top treatment and recovery rooms.

A family member of one patient told us, "The king has taken the entire luxury treatment wing and booked out all the rooms, even though they are empty and he doesn't need them, to protect his privacy.

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The king underwent surgery for a blood clot and a slipped disc last week.

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One law enforcement source told us that Abdullah -- who was visited in Saudi Arabia by four Cornell doctors who advised him he had to have the surgery in New York -- is a generous donor to the hospital and visited a month prior to his surgery.

Abdullah arrived in town on Monday of last week with an enormous entourage. He chartered three flights to JFK, arrived with a massive security team and a film crew, and left the airport in a convoy of 40 vehicles, including 20 for luggage alone.

October 21, 2010

Saudi royal family visit = $1.3M

Here's some fron the follow-up to my post a couple weeks ago about some of the Saudi Arabia royal family visiting Rochester.

The full piece is in print today.

A visit from members of the Saudi Arabian royal family boosted Rochester cash registers by an estimated $1.3 million this month.

The Saudi group, which reportedly includes direct members of the Middle Eastern royal family, has been in Rochester nearly three weeks.
A Saudi Arabia Airlines Boeing 777 departed Tuesday for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from Rochester International Airport. Transport trucks were lined up next to a line of Mercedes Benz  in front of the Kahler Grand Hotel as some in the group prepared to leave and take their new possessions with them, boxed up for shipping. The remainder of the group are expected to leave later this week.

Saudi-Arabia-Currency Official sources estimated anonymously that the group included more than 100 people connected to the royal family.

The visit is similar to one two years ago that officials estimated provided a $1.5 million economic shot in the arm to Rochester's economy.

As in November 2008, the royal family members likely are visiting this month for examinations or treatment at Mayo Clinic. Clinic representatives could not confirm or deny that, however others with knowledge of the visit indicated the visits were for medical evaluations and treatment.

October 04, 2010

Any spottings of Saudi royals in Roch.?

For the weekend paper, I wrote a piece saying some of the Saudi royal family were believed to be visiting Rochester.

While I did not lock down an official source on the record, I'm certain a group of royalty did arrival. Some told me they thought the visit could be comparable to the memorable one in 2008 when the king visited and met here with his extended family from across the U.S.

My question is has anyone out there seen any such royalty first hand in Roch.?

Does anyone care if any Saudi or any other royalty is in the Med city?

One insider texted me over the weekend that it was believed that the lead visitor in this group is the nephew of the king. No idea if that is correct or not.

Here's some from my weekend article. For the record, I did not write the phrase "free-spending ways." It was added in editing.

Members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia might be visiting Rochester again, to the delight of local merchants.
APIHZAIFarrLAX The family and its entourage, known for its free-spending ways, has made several visits to Rochester in connection with medical care at the Mayo Clinic.
A Boeing 747SP jet from Saudi Arabia was scheduled to land at Rochester International Airport on Friday night. That aircraft seats up to 400 people on two passenger levels.
Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede wasn't aware of a visit but said he'd be happy if the Saudis visit.
"I think it's great that they come here for the greatest medical care in the world," said Brede, who visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half ago. "They obviously do have economic impact."
A fleet of high-end luxury cars, including new Mercedes, Escalades and others, were spotted rolling into Rochester en masse with out-of-town plates from New York, California and other places.
Official sources estimated anonymously that possibly up to 200 people connected to the royal family had either arrived in the city or were on their way here.
As in November 2008, the royal family members likely are visiting for examinations or treatment at Mayo Clinic. Clinic spokespeople could not confirm or deny that Friday.
The 2008 visit infused the Rochester economy with an estimated $1.5 million, officials said at the time.