Local developer looking to help couples who lost their security deposit at Hotel Henry

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The New York Attorney General is looking into the closing of Hotel Henry and why the operators are withholding security deposits amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The hotel broke the news that it would cease operations on Feb. 27. This week, dozens of couples planning their weddings at the hotel won’t get their security deposit back.

UB Law professor Christine Bartholomew told News 4 those couples can take legal action.

“If Hotel Henry goes into bankruptcy, then these people will be one of many creditors and that process can be long and drawn out,” Professor Bartholomew said.

But even if they succeed, Bartholomew says it could take a long time to reschedule their wedding dates- and even if the Attorney General intervenes, it could be a long time.

That’s where prominient developer Doug Jemal is stepping in.

Jemal owns the Seneca One Tower, Statler Towers, and other high-end real estate.

He says that he will cover any deposits that aren’t returned, which they can use for another venue, or use as a credit if they stick with the hotel, which Jemal would like to take over.

“If they put a deposit up for a wedding, they are going to get their money back,” Jemal said. “If they put a deposit up and they want to have the wedding at the Hotel Henry, they can and their deposit will be credited back to the venue.”

The deposits would cost Jemal hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money, but in the spirit of the “City of Good Neighbors”, Jemal told us that others are contacting him offering help.

News 4 reached out to Hotel Henry. We have not heard back.

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