NIAGARA FALLS, NY
Administrators say it is the largest donation ever given to a SUNY Community College. David Cordish and the Cordish Group who own the Rainbow Center as well as an adjacent lot, hope their gift will revitalize the area.
Saturday night, Niagara County Community College administrators announced at the foundations annual gala the property is all theirs, thanks to the Cordish company.
"I feel very confident that given the strategic location of the place, that there would be some great opportunities there," said Mayor Paul Dyster.
City and county leaders still need to approve the deal and the renovation project would be a joint effort between the college, city and county, and the state. Senator Chuck Schumer announced he is working to secure $1 million in federal dollars to help the project get off the ground. He released this statement Saturday:
"Revitalization of downtown Niagara Falls has been long in coming, but this weekend we made two giant steps forward, first with the train station, and now the culinary institute."
Administrators estimate the project costs at $17.1 million. More than a dozen programs would move into the new facility. The anchor program would be the college's culinary institute which will include a restaurant, deli, bakery and wine store. The site would also feature a Barnes and Noble.
"Plans at this point its about a quarter million feet, two story mall the Hospitality and Tourism Center would take about 70,000 feet and the remainder of the mall will be developed through a partnership with the city and USA Niagara," said Dr. James Klyczek, President of Niagara County Community College.
City, county, and state leaders are expected to review the details of the plan on Monday. Once all the agreements are reached the college board of trustees will finalize the location of the programs at the Rainbow Center. Then the Niagara County Legislature is responsible for putting the final stamp on the project.