Hotel Niagara rehab gets NCIDA approval

October 11, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2012 at 7:33 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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October 11, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2012 at 7:33 AM EDT

With a key piece of public-sector funding in place, work is expected to start next week on the $23.6 million renovation of the Hotel Niagara, a Cataract City landmark.

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency's directors, Wednesday morning, approved an incentive package for JSK International Corp., the parent company that is undertaking the renovation at the Rainbow Boulevard site.

The 12-story hotel, which dates back to 1924, is being restored by Canadian investor Harry Stinson. The hotel is Stinson's first U.S. project after tackling similar ones in Hamilton and downtown Toronto.

"My niche is restore old buildings and neat old buildings," Stinson said. "This is my next 'neat, old building' project."

Stinson expects the 160-room hotel to open next summer.

"This is a vitally important project because of the building's high visibility in the heart of the city," said Henry Sloma, NCIDA chairman.

Plans call for restoring the currently vacant and mothballed hotel, including nearly 30,000 square feet of event space and food and beverage areas.

Once restored, the hotel will create 70 full-time positions and 85 part-time positions, with an annual payroll of approximately $4.78 million. In addition, the project will create more than 100 construction jobs. JSK International Corp. was approved for a 10-year commercial PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual positive economic impact of more than $15 million on Niagara County.

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