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Developer Douglas Jemal helping couples who lost deposits at Hotel Henry

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 20:16:30-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Developer Douglas Jemal did the "Buffalo thing to do" by helping a number of local couples who lost money on their weddings after the closure of Hotel Henry.

Jemal hosted an event Tuesday evening at the Seneca One Tower where he presented almost 40 couples with checks. He says the "wedding gifts" total $140,000.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Jemal said. “This year has been incredibly difficult and losing wedding deposits on top of it all is heart wrenching. I have read all of their stories. I feel for them and want to fulfill my promise and make them whole again in the situation. That is what the Buffalo spirit is all about!”

Douglas Development is still working to reopen Hotel Henry, but nothing has been made official at this time.

"I didn't want anything negative to effect what we're planning to do to the Hotel Henry," Jemal told 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Jeff Russo live on 7 Eyewitness News at 5pm. "It just felt good to be in a position to say to them, you know what, you didn't get screwed, here's your money back."

If all goes as planned, Jemal aims to reopen the historic hotel on the Richardson Olmsted Complex under a new name. Jemal tells 7 Eyewitness News he wants to re-name the hotel the initial "R."