Cuomo, Hamister Sign Hotel Deal

September 19, 2013 Updated Sep 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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Cuomo, Hamister Sign Hotel Deal

September 19, 2013 Updated Sep 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM EDT

Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW) - The Hamister Hotel project became a reality during Governor Andrew Cuomo's trip to Niagara Falls on Thursday.

The Hamister Hotel project is official. Governor Cuomo and Mark Hamister signed the deal themselves.

However, Hamister admits the deal was almost dead on the $25 million hotel he's planning to build on Rainbow Boulevard.

After a political mailing went out, "I was prepared to call a press conference the following day, to announce the decision that I was walking away," Hamister says.

However, after the city council recently passed a land transfer to The Hamister Group, the project is once again a go.

"I think that by breaking through the process, and adopting a new way of thinking in Niagara Falls. This project itself will not be a game changer, but the process of approval for projects like it (will)," Hamister says.

Just a few weeks ago, after learning about the drama behind the Hamister Hotel, Governor Cuomo made a phone call to Hamister.

"He didn't know what was going to happen and if the project was going to become a political football," Cuomo says. "I said to him, I'm Governor of the State, I've only been Governor a couple of years, but I worked very hard to make sure the state is moving forward and I'm tired of losing a lot of business projects because of politics."

Cuomo put extra effort into the Hamister Hotel because "we weren't ready to lose another opportunity for Niagara Falls."

Groundbreaking is expected to take place in the second half of 2014.