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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:51 AM   #1
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Niagara Falls Development News

Welcome to the Development News thread about the City of Niagara Falls, New York!

Niagara Falls, Ontario news should go in this thread.

News elsewhere in Niagara County outside of Niagara Falls should go in this thread.
10 years!

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Old August 16th, 2006, 05:01 AM   #2
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Now both sides of the border have a "Development News" thread.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 05:06 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure this is for NF NY
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Old August 16th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #4
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Well, the divide between the US and Canadian forums might as well be the distance between the earth and moon sometimes...
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Old August 16th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #5
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no, anything going on the the NF region could be talked about here. i'm sure most of you guys don't visit the canuk forums and most of them dont venture here either.
10 years!
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Old August 16th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #6
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Hey, this is a good idea, developments for Niagara Falls (hopefully more in New York). I can tell you right now, it's a BITCH to get any hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario after last weekend. I really don't care about NF, ON that much, I mainly focus on Buffalo.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #7
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it's a BITCH to get any hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario after last weekend.
What do you mean
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Old August 16th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #8
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State compact allows Senecas more leeway with Falls

NIAGARA FALLS - The Seneca Nation won't have a problem gaining control of streets in the Cataract City that fall within its gaming territory like it has encountered in recent weeks with its planned Buffalo casino.
The Senecas recently offered to pay $631,000 for two blocks of a Buffalo street, where a casino is planned, but aren't required to pay anything for the five downtown Niagara Falls streets that will, or already have, become part of its Falls gaming territory.

That's because New York's compact with the Seneca Nation of Indians, signed by Gov. George E. Pataki in 2002, is written in a way that gives Buffalo latitude when it comes to its city streets, but includes public thoroughfares in the 50-acre section of Niagara Falls land promised to the Senecas.

"Niagara is the only one where a specific site is designated in the compact, and includes all roads," said Seneca Gaming Corp. spokesman Philip J. Pantano.

However, when the street-sale negotiations between the Seneca Erie Gaming Corp. and Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown fell apart earlier this month, Seneca President Barry E. Snyder Sr. made a surprise announcement that the result will be additional development and new jobs for Niagara Falls to come sooner than expected.

Initial Niagara Falls plans include another hotel and a new retail complex, which could result in an additional 1,000 new jobs in the city, as well as a decision to keep upper-level management gaming headquarters in the Falls instead of moving them to Buffalo as had been planned, Pantano said.

Snyder, also chief executive officer of the Seneca Gaming Corp., said that without the sale of the Buffalo street, the planned $125 million, 100,000-square-foot casino has been drastically scaled back. He said that leaves time and energy to expand operations in Salamanca and the Falls.

Pantano said the site of the Falls expansion will be the former Fallsville Splash Park and its associated lots and parking lots. The gaming corporation took title to that land last month through an eminent domain proceeding. The 18 acres at John B. Daly and Rainbow boulevards is planned as a focal point for the Senecas' holdings in the Falls, where a 26-story spa hotel was completed in March.

"Our vision is to create a grand entranceway, so that as visitors come off the Robert Moses Parkway, they are greeted by a world-class facility," Pantano said. "We're finalizing plans internally on an additional hotel space."

Pantano said the retail complex would attract name-brand companies, which would be required to collect state sales tax. That would be a first for the Senecas' Falls operations, which are exempt from sales, hotel occupancy and property taxes because the land is considered sovereign. For instance, the gift shop in the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel on Third Street does not collect sales tax because it is Seneca-owned.

The spokesman also said the land where the former Ramada Inn on Rainbow Boulevard once stood will be used for surface parking for now. The gaming corporation bought the property last year and demolished the former hotel last month.

The Falls gambling complex currently has more than 3,000 workers, and that number is expected to rise to about 4,000 or more in the coming years, Pantano said.

That is encouraging to some lawmakers.

"I've talked to them, and they're going to go from 3,000 to 5,000 workers," said Councilman Louis Rotella. "So that would help the city. Now we have to do our due diligence by getting these people good housing."
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #9
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We FINALLY have a Niagara Falls Development News Thread. I'm very happy for this thread. It's truly long overdue. It should've been created years ago.

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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jaybird
Hey, this is a good idea, developments for Niagara Falls (hopefully more in New York). I can tell you right now, it's a BITCH to get any hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario after last weekend. I really don't care about NF, ON that much, I mainly focus on Buffalo.

i'd like to see this more as a tandom thread for both cities.
i really don't think niagara,ny warrents its own thread independent of buffalo.
i think as a thread of cross border interest this does make sense.

it may not seem so today, but the two cities were much more inter-dependent not so long ago. as late as the late eighties/early nineties, the american side was fairly active and the canadian side offered little more than clifton hill, and nightclubs geared at 19 year old kids from buffalo. funny how things change.
have you ever ventured into the old neighborhoods of niagara falls, ontario? not so dissimilar from western new york.

i would love to see these two cities working together for the better good of both. the new passport thing will probably destroy any chance of that, but its nice to hope for.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #11
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New blueprint for Falls' tallest building

The United Office Building, once the tallest building in Niagara Falls, is poised to see new life as a residential and commercial complex, ending decades of failed plans, hopes and aspirations.

It took the combined efforts of local developer Carl Paladino and USA Niagara Development Corp., one of the area arms of Empire State Development Corp., to make the $7.2 million project a reality.

Paladino was selected from an request-for-proposal process to re-development the long vacant Niagara Falls landmark. The project is Paladino's first residential effort in the Cataract City.

Crews from Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. are on site converting the 20-story building into 27 market rate apartments and 20,000-square-feet of commercial space.

The project is slated to be completed by next spring, Paladino said. When it comes on line, it will have a new name, although Paladino said he hasn't decided what the new moniker will be until construction is further along.

"This is something we first looked at 20 years ago," Paladino said.

The apartments will begin on the building's seventh floor and work their way up to the top. The units will run between 1,200-square-feet and 2,700-square-feet.

Commercial space will occupy the building's first six floors.

The 1929 building, considered by many to one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Niagara Falls, was originally the home of the United Hotel chain and later headquarters for Hooker Chemical Co. Until December's opening of the 26-story Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, the building was the tallest in the Cataract City.

"Of all the progress and investment occurring in downtown Niagara Falls, there is no project more symbolic or that better articulates the Governor's (Pataki) vision for the city's renaissance than (Paladino's) the renovation of the historic United Office Building," said Chris Schoepflin, USA Niagara president.

Paladino is no stranger to tackling tough historic renovation projects. In Buffalo, he converted the former University Club on Delaware Avenue and the former L.L. Berger's department store building in city's central business district into market rate apartments.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #12
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Senecas are building a gambling empire next door

By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Frank and Dorothy Giglia of suburban Buffalo visit the Seneca Niagara Casino once or twice a month. They like to play the slots and they're happy to support American Indians instead of "some big national conglomerate," as Frank put it.

John Logan of Swissvale recently made his second trip to the Seneca tribe's other western New York casino, the Seneca Allegany in Salamanca. He and his wife, Louise, rode up for $33 each on a chartered bus with other Western Pennsylvanians.

"I've gambled all my life," said Mr. Logan, 78, a poker and craps player.

The two couples are among the reasons the Seneca Nation is confident about investing $500 million to expand its young gambling empire.

While applicants in Pennsylvania are competing for the right to get slot machines spinning within a year or two, the tribe of 7,400 is building western New York into one of the Northeast's biggest gambling centers. In addition to table games, they operate more than 6,000 slot machines in two locations, and expect to add another 2,400 machines within two years.

Three years after converting the former Niagara Falls convention center into a full-scale casino, the Senecas today will officially open the first 10 floors of a 26-story, 604-room hotel. It will be fully operational by March.

Special guests were given rooms for New Year's Eve celebrations, and Aretha Franklin performs tonight in the hotel's 2,100-seat auditorium. The gleaming glass structure, which is adorned with a 50-foot-tall illuminated feather, is the dominant man-made feature of U.S. side of Niagara Falls, competing for attention and visitors with the much busier Canadian side, which itself has two casinos.

The $235 million hotel project, which has also enlarged the connected casino, is supplemented by a $140 million investment in a more modest hotel and casino in Salamanca, a small town to the south, a little more than a three-hour drive from Pittsburgh.

Built within one of the tribe's two reservation territories in the region, the Seneca Allegany casino-hotel when completed in October will replace a temporary structure that has been luring gamblers from Pennsylvania and Ohio since opening 20 months ago. It's the closest full-scale gambling facility to Pittsburgh.

The Senecas, which took in $337.5 million from gaming in 2004, the last year for which figures are available, are planning a third casino in Downtown Buffalo, between Niagara Falls and Salamanca. It will offer the same array of slots, poker, blackjack, craps and roulette as the others.

In economically depressed Niagara Falls, the Senecas -- historically one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy -- have largely been welcomed as the cornerstone of long-overdue efforts to replicate the tourism success of the town's Ontario neighbor and namesake.

"This is the biggest thing that's happened here in 35 years," Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello said of Seneca Niagara on a recent visit to Hush, its new nightclub aimed at young adults. "Now this has given other developers a reason to give us a second look."

The Senecas' Buffalo project is the only one of its efforts that's drawn notable community opposition. The 3,350 casino-funded jobs already in Niagara Falls and the 4,600 jobs projected for Salamanca by year's end make the tribe's operations attractive to those eager to boost the area's economy.

State and local governments are receiving revenue that didn't exist before, $57.1 million in 2004 and a higher, still-undetermined amount for 2005. The tribe and New York state negotiated a 2002 compact in which the Senecas turn over between 18 percent and 25 percent of slots revenue to the state and local governments.

The 1988 federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act enabled tribes to use gambling as an economic development tool, within limits, depending on laws within each tribe's state. If state political leaders are willing to agree, as New York Gov. George Pataki did, tribes can build Las Vegas-style casinos instead of the small Indian slots and poker parlors common in many Western states.

Local government leaders and Seneca representatives say pro-gambling sentiments in western New York stem in part from the legalized gambling already available minutes away across the Canadian border, muting any arguments that the Senecas would create a new vice. And rather than depending on local players and simply redistributing a fixed amount of disposable income, the casinos in both Niagara Falls and Salamanca are targeting tourists.

Seneca Gaming Corp. officials say about one-third of Salamanca's Seneca Allegany patrons are Pennsylvanians and one-fifth are Ohioans. While the non-local percentage is lower in Niagara Falls, that is expected to increase as a result of the new hotel's opening, which will spark marketing efforts in places as far away as Pittsburgh, a more than four-hour drive.

"The extent to which we relied on local patrons up to now has been by design," said Seneca Gaming spokesman Phil Pantano. "We didn't want to bring people up from longer distances if we didn't have [an overnight] place to put them."

The Senecas have also benefited from their permanent ties to the area. The Senecas have federally protected territory in two separate areas around Salamanca and Irving, which is closer to Buffalo. About 10 percent of casino employees are Indians, Mr. Pantano said.

Indian tribes can bypass the federal, state and local taxes owed by other businesses, which rankles some private businesses competing with them. But with the lack of economic activity in Niagara Falls before the casino, and with local redevelopment funds made possible by the Senecas' revenue-sharing, many entrepreneurs have accepted or embraced their operations, said David Fleck, owner of the Howard Johnson Hotel Closest to the Falls.

Their new hotel, he said, "is gorgeous. They've done a fantastic job." Mr. Fleck, the president of the Niagara Falls Hotel and Motel Association, said he doesn't mind the competition, considering his nightly rates are about half the $100 and up the new hotel will charge to cover its higher-scale amenities.

Barry Snyder, the elected president of the Seneca Nation, said most of the casino profits thus far have been directed toward reducing the debt tied to the expansion projects. But some money has been used to offset cutbacks in federal aid to reservations, subsidize home mortgages for tribe members and support capital improvements to educational and health facilities on the Senecas' land. The tribe is also creating a foundation to combat diabetes, a disease that particularly afflicts Native Americans.

In addition, the 7,400 individuals across America accepted as Senecas (based on their mothers' blood lines), receive quarterly dividends from casino operations. Those have totaled about $8,000 each in windfalls from the three years of gambling expansion, Mr. Snyder said. The gaming took off only after the tribe narrowly approved it in a referendum.

With the gambling growth occurring so close together geographically, in such a short time span, it would seem the Senecas' biggest concern might be over-saturation. John Pasqualoni, hired as Seneca Gaming's president after previous positions in Atlantic City and Connecticut, professes not to be worried.

"We're looking to grow the corporate pie," Mr. Pasqualoni said. "We'll share some, but also pick up additional markets. Allegany has proven that [can happen]."

As for competition from Pennsylvania, with a new racetrack in Erie to offer slot machines, Mr. Pasqualoni insisted the table games, hotels and entertainment venues the Senecas feature will help them retain many customers.

"We're not just a place to roll into and play slots," he asserted. "Will they steal some business from us? Without question, but we're more of a destination resort."

(Gary Rotstein can be reached at [email protected] or 412-263-1255.)
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #13
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$300M Resort Expansion Planned for Niagara Falls
August 14, 2006
By Dees Stribling, Special Correspondent

Grand Niagara Resort Inc., a partnership that owns and operates a new golf course in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is planning a C$300 million expansion of the facility. At its completion, scheduled for 2010, the 800-acre complex will include another golf course, a Hilton hotel, conference facility, time-share condos, homesites, a winery and a pair of manmade lakes.

"The biggest driver for the development is that the area is lacking a 12-month conference destination," Graham Cocking, director of sales and marketing for Grand Niagara, told CPN this afternoon. "Also, there's a tremendous demand for a full-service golf resort."

According to Cocking, the Grand Niagara development will be the first such full-service golf resort built in Ontario in the last two decades. The development will also benefit from the fact that Niagara Falls is already an established tourist--and more recently, meeting--destination, he noted.

The project is a joint venture between A.D. Sharp Development Co. and the Consulate Development Group, both of Mississauga, Ontario. The JV has been assembling land for the project along the Welland River for about seven years. Last year it opened the 18-hole Grand Niagara Golf Course, which was designed by renowned golf course architect Rees Jones Inc.

Investors in the first course included golfer Greg Norman, who will lend his name to the second 18-hole course. The Hilton will include 350 rooms and a 20,000-square-foot spa and recreation area, and there will be about 300 time-share units and 220 homesites.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #14
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Public gets first glimpse of ‘Magical Land of Oz’

by Ralph Schwarz
Niagara Wheatfield Tribune,Lewiston Porter Sentinel

Wheatfield residents, local politicians and business leaders got their first peak at the proposed “The Magical Lands of Oz” theme park during a public scoping session on Monday.

With more than 300 people packing the Wheatfield Community/Senior Center, representatives from Oz Central LLC revealed some of the project’s attractions while soliciting public input to be included in the finals scoping document, which the developer has to file as part of the mandatory State Environmental Quality Review study.

“Our goal is to create a theme park that would make you believe you’ve been transported to the Land of Oz,” said Richard Burch, president of Oz Central.

After studying sites across the United States for more than a year, the Kentucky-based company declared Wheatfield last July as its first choice for a $800 million theme park and destination resort, which would revolve around characters and stories from the popular “Wizard of Oz” books by L. Frank Baum.

Year-Round Attraction

The first phase of the project would see the construction of a 442-acre theme park in the eastern portion of the 800-acre complex, sitting within the boundaries of Williams, Jagow, River and Witmer roads. With more than 80 to 85 percent of its attractions to be located indoors, the park would be capable to operate 12 months a year.

“Some of this park would be seasonal, while some areas would be covered but not climate controlled,” Burch said. “And our third part would be the indoor element where you would be in climate-controlled conditions.”

According to the proposed site plans devised by former Disney designers, visitors would reach the theme park via an extension of the LaSalle Expressway, which leads into a 1,000-acre, 12,000-car parking lot. From there, a shuttle would take them to the entrance, which represents present-day Kansas, and transported through a virtual tornado to Munchkin Land, Emerald City and places like Quadling County, Gillkin County and Winkle County.

“We expect this to be one of the most significant technologically superior theme parks in the world,” Burch said, adding that the “Oz” design team will carry this technology throughout the attractions within and beyond the park. “We have some surprises.”

‘Landmark Tower’

Each of the different lands will have its own “e-ticket” or virtual realty event based on L. Frank Baum’s stories and characters, Burch added. Other highlights include a botanical garden, which would incorporate the surrounding wetlands as part of a nature conservation effort; a statue of Baum; a castle; a three-story carousel; and the “Kansas Landmark Tower,” a 1,000 feet tall structure with an observation deck at 650 feet.

“There is a structure around this that looks like a framework of tornado,” Burch said. “The proposal of the architectural firm is that we would run steam through it. So once every hour, the steam would be released and this tornado would appear before your very eyes.”

Also included in Phase I are the construction of a themed flagship hotel with 200 rooms and dining and entertainment facilities, an administration/office building, maintenance and safety buildings, an emergency generator station and an extension of the LaSalle Expressway, which would serve as the primary access road to the theme park.

Wheatfield Supervisor Timothy Demler said it would take about 12 months for the Wheatfield Planning Board and other involved agencies to approve the site plan for the project.

“In a very rapid sense, a project like this could be started about a year or 18 months from now,” he said. “It would be about a three-year construction window, according to the developers, and they are hoping to be operational by 2009 or 2010.”

The second phase of the project would add four more hotels with a total capacity of approximately 800 rooms on 64 acres along an internal circulatory road leading up to the north-central portion the complex. Phase III would see the construction of additional retail, dining and entertainment facilities on approximately 300 acres in the western section of the theme park/resort, as dictated by market conditions.

Sales Tax Revenue

Once opened, the theme park would generate sales tax revenue between $50 million and $70 million a year in new sales tax revenue, Demler said.

“To put this into perspective: The town of Wheatfield currently budgets just under $11 million, with about $2.6 million coming in sale tax revenue from Niagara County,” he said. “If we add $50 million to $70 million in new sales tax revenue from a private project like this, we could cut county property taxes in half or maybe even further. And that is something that we desperately need.”

Demler pointed out that the town would ultimately have a stronghold on the Niagara County Legislature when it comes to the redistribution of the county portion of the sales tax collected from the “Oz” project.

“The town of Wheatfield would pursue exemption and preemption; in other words, rather than let the county have a $35 million cut, the town would keep it all,” he said. “The town would have a lever over the county to require a reduction of the property taxes, not just in Wheatfield, but in all of Niagara County to make us competitive again.”
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #15
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Polishing up Main's architectural gems

(From the personal experience of gutting and rebuilding properties, Richard A. Hastings sees a chance to restore lost beauty to Main Street.)

NIAGARA FALLS - Richard A. Hastings, a major property owner on North Main Street, says he will soon begin a $1 million project to salvage three beautiful but ailing buildings in a neglected section of the city.
"My interest was to historically preserve the North End," said the Youngstown resident, who has been buying dozens of properties on and around Main Street for nearly a decade. "I think we need to recognize that these old buildings have character. It will never be how it was, but we can make it into something along the lines of Center Street in Lewiston."

Hastings is finalizing a public and private financing package to renovate 1810, 1812 and 1700 Main St., and bring back retail to the storefronts and a dozen new apartments on the upper floors.

"When I see this building, I don't see what you see," Hastings said of the old Quinn-Block building at 1812 Main St. "I see what it can be. I gutted this myself."

City Historian Thomas Yots said he sees the importance of the buildings Hastings has chosen, especially the Quinn building with its Gothic architecture and 1700 Main St. - known locally as the Moses building - with its white terra-cotta finish.

"Those are two of the most important buildings on Main Street because they have architectural distinction," Yots said. "This is going to be good for Main Street."

Hastings said he has agreements with retailers for all the storefronts, including a Southern-cooking restaurant and a cell-phone store. Seven apartments in 1812 Main St. will have access to a rooftop garden in the back, and Hastings said he will expose its 100-year-old brick-and-steel railroad beams.

The Lewiston native worked for American oil companies in Saudi Arabia for many years before returning to the area to live in Youngstown with his wife. Hastings also owns the Silo Restaurant in Lewiston and the vacant historic Frontier House, which he says is planned for new tenants as well. He has faced some criticism for not developing the buildings he bought in Niagara Falls, but he says the economy is difficult and he has been waiting for the right time.

In 2003, he renovated the third floor of 1902 Main St. into seven loft apartments using a federal Community Development grant, which has such strict income guidelines that it's hard to attract tenants, he said.

e-mail: [email protected]
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Old August 16th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #16
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Nearly $24 Million in New Funding Will Help Spur Economic Development, Enhance Infrastructure, and Promote Tourism

Governor George E. Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that makes available $23.9 million to support a number of key economic development, infrastructure, and tourism projects in the Niagara Falls region. The funding represents the local share of the second and third year (2004 and 2005) casino revenues from the Seneca Niagara Casino.

On August 18, 2002, the Governor and the Seneca Nation signed a gaming compact establishing the Seneca Niagara Casino. Under legislation which authorized the compact, the host municipalities receive a portion of the casino proceeds to support economic development, infrastructure improvements, and related costs associated with the casino.

“Over the past 11 years we have been committed to making smart investments in the future of Niagara Falls including over $95 million invested in the last five years, and today we continue to build upon that record with the announcement of this new funding,” Governor Pataki said. “Our ongoing efforts to revitalize the City and surrounding area have made possible new investments, new jobs, and a brighter future for the people of the region, and with these key projects we’ll be able to ensure that we continue making progress on our goal of bringing back this premier destination.”

Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said, “These funds are a tremendous investment in Niagara County that will benefit the economy, boost tourism, strengthen health care, and improve transportation and the environment. I’m pleased the agreement has been signed and that these critically important local investments can move forward.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “This agreement is an encouraging and greatly needed step that will provide significant benefits to the City of Niagara Falls, its residents and the surrounding community. At the same time, we in the Assembly recognize that more needs to be done to boost the economy in Niagara Falls and throughout upstate New York and pledge to continue our efforts to achieve economic prosperity all through the state.”

Senator George Maziarz said, “It’s great news that all sides have signed the casino revenue MOU for 2004 and 2005. These funds have been sitting in Albany for far too long and now they can flow back to the local community, which is desperately in need.”

Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte said, “This is a long time in coming and will provide the city a substantial financial boost in making infrastructure improvements and moving forward on key economic development projects including neighborhood revitalization. I’m certainly going to keep fighting to get Niagara Falls its deserved fair share. We’re not there yet, but some real progress was made today.”

Niagara Falls Mayor Vincenzo V. Anello said, “This agreement clears the way for the City of Niagara Falls to take action on much needed road improvements, economic development programs and address the quality of life issues that are important to City residents.”

The MOU agreed to by the Governor, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver makes available $23.9 million in casino revenue. The City of Niagara Falls will receive approximately $10.6 million of the funding for community programs, economic development initiatives and infrastructure improvements and $6.1 million will be used to support tourism promotion and City health and education groups.

In addition, the USA Niagara Development Corporation, an agency created by the Governor in January of 2001 to support and promote economic development initiatives solely in downtown Niagara Falls, will receive up to approximately $7.2 million to support a number of key economic development projects located in downtown Niagara Falls including the Niagara Experience Center, the Old Falls Street streetscape project, and the Conference Center Niagara Falls.
Today’s announcement provides the following important initiatives with critical funding:

· $3.9 million – To support community development programs for residents and business owners, improvements to City parks and recreation facilities, the Niagara Falls Housing Authority’s HOPE VI public housing project, and funding for casino related expenses incurred by the City Public Works and Public Safety departments and lost interest revenue for the City of Niagara Falls.

· $3.9 million – To support economic development programs designed to attract new businesses and private-sector investment, and enhance funding for current programs available through the city’s Urban Renewal Agency.

· $3.1 million – To support a new Old Falls Street streetscape and new downtown signage/way-finding system within the downtown development district. Improvements include new paving, full-depth roadway reconstruction, drainage systems, new granite curbing and accessible curb-cuts, limited vehicle access, built-in measures for closing off the street for festivals and events, new lighting, street furniture and landscaping.

· $3 million – To support the development of the Niagara Experience Center (NEC) project and costs related to site acquisition/preparation and the State Environment Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) process. The NEC will serve as an authentic, cultural tourism attraction that will encourage complimentary, high-quality, private investment in hotel, food, and entertainment in the immediate downtown area, thereby extending the length of stay for visitors in Niagara Falls.

· $2.7 million – To support improvements to roadways, sidewalks and other infrastructure projects.

· $2 million – To support capital improvement costs for a new terminal at the Niagara Falls International Airport.

· $2 million – To support the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation’s (NTCC) tourism promotion and marketing efforts for the City of Niagara Falls and Niagara County.

· $1.1 million – For operating costs related to the Conference Center Niagara Falls which opened for business in 2004 and generates an estimated $13 - $19 million in annual direct spending on local hotels, food and beverage and transportation in the region.

· $1 million – In aid for the Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital.

· $1 million – In aid for the Niagara Falls City School District.

· $100,000 – For the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency’s economic development fund to facilitate private investment, private sector job creation and expand the tax base within Niagara County.

The MOU agreement making available $23.9 million in new funding builds upon the Governor’s record of investing over $95 million in the revitalization of the City of Niagara Falls over the last five years, and includes the following projects:

· $44 million – In improvements to Niagara Falls State Park;

· $18.8 million – For the award-winning Conference Center Niagara Falls which is currently scheduled to host 300 events in 2006;

· $10 million – For the Niagara Experience Center, a project envisioned to be a world-class attraction and visitor destination developed from within the Niagara Falls community over the past two decades;

· $6 million – To support the $22.3 million transformation of the Holiday Inn Select into the Crowne Plaza, which will create more than 100 new jobs and $1.6 million in new property taxes for the City, county and school district;

· $5 million – In multi-modal construction funding for the Robert Moses Parkway South project;

· $3.3 million – For Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and improvements to DeVeaux Woods and Whirlpool State Park;

· $3.2 million – For the reconfiguration and streetscape program on Rainbow Boulevard North and South, including $500,000 in multi-modal funds to incorporate elements consistent with the joint USA Niagara/City of Niagara Falls $3.5 million Third Street reconstruction/streetscape project;

· $2.7 million – In New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) funding for a new fleet of natural gas powered trolley vehicles to provide circulator access between various hotels and attractions in downtown Niagara Falls;

· $1 million – In pedestrian access improvements on all state-owned routes in downtown Niagara Falls, including a new signature pedestrian stairway/gateway near the Old Main Street entrance to the State Park;

· $500,000 – In Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act and federal Land and Water Conservation funding for the restoration of the former Niagara Falls High School for the Niagara Falls Arts and Cultural Center (NACC);

· $400,000 – In interest-free financing to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to help support the hospital's construction of a state-of-the-art heart center and emergency department; and

· $100,000 – In Base Retention Funds to assist local efforts in the successful fight to save Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station from being closed as part of the 2005 base realignment process.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #17
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It's great to see a thread for Niagara Falls.

Two suggestions though...

When posting old news articles it would be helpful to leave the Date on the article. It gets confusing when its says something was "announced today" when it actually happened 4 months ago.

Also, since this thread is going to be about both NF NY and NF Ont, it may be good to spell out which one you're talking about. The articles often just say Niagara FAlls, and you have to figure out which one. (usually not too hard to figure out for us, but not everyone reading these are locals)
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Old August 16th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #18
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RTJ2 and Seneca Nation to build golf course near Niagara Falls
| Monday August 7, 2006 | 12:16:13 pm

Building on success with the Oneida nation of central New York, Robert Trent Jones II has entered into an agreement with the Seneca of western New York to build a golf course in the town of Lewiston, a few miles north of Niagara Falls. The site, next to Joseph Davis State Park, had been slated for golf course development for years. The financing never came together, and the project repeatedly stalled. Then came the Seneca nation. After an exhaustive search that included Jack, Pete, Greg, and other name architects, they decided to employ RTJ2 to design their Niagara County golf course.

Not much is known about the layout, other than its intent to work in harmony with the land. That should not be too difficult, as the land is fairly flat. Only to the south of Buffalo can hill country be found. However, the Oneida's Kaluhyat course at Turning Stone resort was built on similar land, and the results were quite stunning. In fact, it is safe to say that, alongside the Smith and Fazio courses at Turning Stone, the Jones2 course is easily the most difficult of the trio. Only the lack of spectator viewing areas and movement corridors keeps it from being used as a tournament venue (this year alone, Turning Stone hosted the National Club Pro championship and the B.C. Open). What is known, though, is that the routing plan will work in a somewhat clockwise manner, to ensure that the majority of wayward shots (read: slices by righties) will not trespass onto local highways or neighboring homesites.

Although no shovels have been ceremoniously planted in the ground, the Seneca course is projected to open in 2008. Given the history of Revolutionary conflict and the native connection to both sides in the American Revolutionary war, a historical tie-in seems possible, if not probable. The partnership of Robert Trent Jones II as lead architect and Ty Butler as project architect will repeat their Kaluhyat success at Lewiston.

An interesting footnote to the story is the River Oaks element. On Grand Island, a six-mile long oasis situated between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, Desmond Muirhead crafted an intriguing layout, filled with challenge and deceipt, before descending into madness. Adjacent to a Holiday Inn, River Oaks presented a unique possibility for the Seneca. The nation explored the opportunity of purchasing and rennovating the course, before deciding to construct a new 18 north of Niagara Falls.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #19
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O.R.E. to develop $70-million condo tower in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Mississauga company O.R.E. Development Corporation announced plans to build a 29-storey condominium tower in Niagara Falls, Ontario with a view of the falls and the Niagara River. Poised to draw investors from around the globe, the $70-million-dollar project is the first residential building of its kind in the burgeoning Niagara region.

"With its proximity to international borders, its booming tourist economy and the rare beauty of the area, Niagara Falls is a perfect location for a world-class, urban residential development," said J. Marc Baronette, Director of Business Development, O.R.E. "The Niagara Condominium Residences will help diversify housing opportunities and reinvigorate the face of this international destination."

The condominiums will be built on 1.45 acres of lush residential land edging the Niagara River Gorge just minutes from the falls. The stunning 29-storey tower of glass with masonry accents was designed by award-winning architectural firm Diamond + Schmitt Architects. The internationally-recognized firm also designed the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Canada's first purpose-built Opera House, unveiled last month in Toronto.

"The design of The Niagara combines the urban streetscape of townhouses and low-rise apartments in the mature Clifton Hill neighbourhood with a slender tower capturing spectacular views of Niagara Falls and the Gorge," said architect Don Schmitt. "Working with O.R.E. Development Corporation we have designed an exceptional residential environment which will set a new standard of excellence."

The 250-unit building will feature garden units, a roof terrace, a large fitness area, an indoor lap pool and parking for 350 cars. Available in one- or two-bedroom units, The Niagara Condominium Residences start at $169,900 and will be available for sale this summer. O.R.E is scheduled to break ground next spring with completion set for 2009. More information can be obtained by visiting

On June 12, Niagara Falls City Council gave O.R.E. 'approval in principle' to move forward with the project. At last night's meeting, City Council passed a by-law adopting the Official Plan Amendment implementing Council's approval of the development. This Amendment and supporting documentation will be forwarded to the Regional Municipality of Niagara for final approval.

Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd. negotiated the land purchase and Pat Baker of Baker Real Estate will handle condominium sales targeting local, national and international buyers looking to be part of this innovative development in an internationally recognized tourist area.

"The prolific condominium development proposed by O.R.E will add an important residential development dimension to the Niagara Falls central business and tourism core," said Paul Azzarello, Commercial Sales Representative, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd. "The endorsement by the City of Niagara Falls Council will help to pave the way for this exciting landmark development."
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Old August 16th, 2006, 07:13 PM   #20
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