Fresh Ideas for Revitalization of Rainbow Mall

September 28, 2012 Updated Sep 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Kyla Igoe

September 28, 2012 Updated Sep 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW)- The former Rainbow Mall in Niagara Falls is getting some new life. A culinary school opened its doors in a section of the mall and now development experts are sharing their ideas on what to do with the rest of the mall.

The focus now is to make the idle shopping center into a major anchor in the Falls. Friday, leaders with the Urban Land Institute outlined recommendations for what could drive tourism, people, and even businesses to the heart of the Cataract City.

The presentation outlined a plan for the creation of several buildings instead of a 'big box' parcel and improve the building's exterior.

Other suggestions include filling the inside with retail shops, a food market, bowling alley and theatre on the first floor. Ideas for the second floor include expanding education programs with a space for a health club, spa and yoga studio.

"There's a huge amount of positive momentum here," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. "Why can't we get this done?"

The mayor says the USA Niagara Development Corporation would spear head any redevelopment plan, but future plans would rely heavily on casino revenue.