NIAGARA FALLS (WKBW) The back and forth over the proposed Hamister Development hotel has now gone back again, this time in the positive direction.
After it was tabled at a July city council meeting, then its developer bashed by a political mailer, the $25 million mixed use Hamister Development project in Downtown Niagara Falls was "99 percent dead." That is, until Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to step in.
"He was going to urge all the stake holders who have had the opportunity to move this thing forward to get it done," Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said.
Because of that, the project has new life, as developer Mark Hamister released a statement which read in part, "I remain committed to this project and to making a significant private investment in the City of Niagara Falls."
But just like in July, it still needs the approval of the city council. One of the outspoken members who voted against this project is Sam Fruscione. We made multiple attempts to reach him Friday, but did not hear back.
Fruscione last spoke to Eyewitness News last month about the plan.
"We are the final decision makers, we are not just a rubber stamp for whatever comes in front of us. I just want everybody to know that we are not anti-business, we are just looking out for the taxpayers," he said.
Now with support from the governor, mayoral support, and support from 2 out of the 5 city council members, the future of the project comes down to changing one vote.
"We're looking for an opportunity to break the curve. To show not just local developers but the global economy that Niagara Falls is open for business. I think this is just a really crucial project for us to move forward," Mayor Dyster added.
Dyster says he has two interested developers in re-doing the Rainbow Mall. But that may depend on what happens with the Hamister project, saying tens of millions of dollars more may be at stake.
In order to move forward, a special city council meeting would have to be called, with at least one of the "no" votes changing their mind.
A city council primary will take place this Tuesday, and could affect the likelihood of that happening.