Falls Councilman Pledges to Vote in Favor of Hotel Development

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM EDT

By WKBW News


Falls Councilman Pledges to Vote in Favor of Hotel Development

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (release) - Niagara Falls City Councilman Robert A. Anderson, Jr. has pledged to vote in favor of the $25.3 million, mixed-use project proposed by Hamister Development, Inc. at a regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council meeting later today. Anderson’s vote will provide the needed third councilmember in favor of the project, signifying majority approval of the Niagara Falls City Council and allowing the planned development to advance at a city-owned site located at 310 Rainbow Boulevard in downtown Niagara Falls, New York.

“I would like to thank Councilman Anderson for his support of this project,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “Councilman Anderson took the time to seriously consider the proposal, ask the right questions and ultimately act in the best interest of the people of Niagara Falls. It is projects such as this that will result in jobs, new tax revenue and other economic benefits for the local community.”

The councilman was assured that the project will include a performance bond, that any reverter clause will shield the city from any future liabilities and that every effort will be made to hire local workers when construction begins.

“I’ve done my due diligence and believe that the Hamister project is good for our community,” said Councilman Anderson. “I am proud to throw my support behind this much-needed development and look forward to casting my vote in favor of the project later today.”

Anderson continued, “I’d like to express my sincere thanks and respect to Governor Cuomo and Sam Hoyt for their direct involvement and leadership, as well as helping to get me comfortable with some key elements of the overall transaction.”

In order to move the proposed project forward, three votes are needed to remove the item from the table and a separate, second vote in favor of the development agreement is also needed. Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti and Councilman Charles Walker have supported the terms of the development agreement since July 2013.

The proposed project will be the first non-casino new development of this scale in over 40 years and programmatically will be over 100,000 square feet, consisting of 110 upscale hotel rooms, 24 market-rate residential rental apartments, and up to 8,000 square feet of ground-level retail. The project is estimated to generate 200 to 300 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction and create 70 permanent jobs.

The Hamister Group, Inc., founded in 1977 and based in Buffalo, is a recognized leader in hotel and healthcare facility development and management. Its hotel holdings include facilities in Pittsburgh, Knoxville and Louisville. They are currently also advancing a project in Buffalo to adaptively reuse the Tishman Building on Lafayette Square as a mixed-use office, residential and hotel property featuring a new Hilton Garden Hotel.