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One Niagara submits application for assistance for $6 million renovation of Niagara Falls landmark

by jmaloni
Wed, Nov 9th 2011 01:00 pm

Niagara County Industrial Development Agency also approves applications that will generate $30 million in investments and create more than 70 new jobs

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board of directors today accepted an application for assistance from One Niagara LLC for a proposed $6 million renovation of the Niagara Falls landmark on 360 Rainbow Blvd. The owners plan to create a mixed-use center focused on tourism, retail, food and beverage; office space; data services; and hospitality. In total, this would create 17 new jobs while retaining 38 jobs.

The NCIDA board also approved applications for assistance it received at the October board meeting from Olin Corporation, Gateway Harbor Inn, Frank's Vacuum Truck Services Inc., Mawhiney Trucking Inc. and Taylor Devices for projects that, combined, total $30 million in new investment and 74 new jobs, while retaining 328 current jobs.

"Today is a great day for economic development in Niagara County as the board has helped make it possible for five significant local economic development projects to become reality," said Henry M. Sloma, chairman of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. "The One Niagara project is a cornerstone in the redevelopment of downtown Niagara Falls and it is an international gateway to our community. This project has been dormant for far too long, and I am excited the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency will help make this a successful economic development project that will create private sector jobs."

One Niagara LLC is in the process of renovating the building into a first-class mixed-use center that will service the growing tourism market in Niagara Falls. An estimated 900,000 people visit the building annually, a number that One Niagara expects will grow after the renovations, including replacement of antiquated HVAC systems, build-outs for tenants, as well as landscaping and paving. One Niagara said the improvements are necessary to remain viable to meet the growing number of tourists visiting Niagara Falls.

One Niagara has not been approved for financing from local banking institutions, therefore improvements must be funded through equity or non-institutional financing. To enable One Niagara to make the necessary improvements to the property, the company is requesting assistance from the NCIDA in the form of a five-year Opportunity Zone Payment in Lieu of Taxes followed by a 10-year commercial PILOT, with sales tax abatements on construction materials, equipment and furniture and fixtures. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual economic impact of approximately $885,000.

NCIDA Induced Projects

Olin Corporation plans to expand its plant operations located on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls. The company's products include chlorine, caustic soda, hydrogen, hydrochloric acid and bleach. It is expanding its existing bleach product production with a new product to be known as HyPure Bleach. Olin plans to construct four new buildings on the site to house the new equipment the company is slated to purchase. The projected cost of the expansion is $20 million and the project will create 11 jobs with salaries ranging from $75,000 to $85,000. Olin will receive a 15-year industrial PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual economic impact of approximately $3.7 million.

Gateway Harbor Inn is a mixed-use project that plans to convert 62-64 Webster St., North Tonawanda, into a boutique hotel offering upscale accommodations as well as a 70-seat restaurant and lounge. The three-story brick structure was built in 1891 and is approximately 10,000 square feet; plans call for an addition to the existing structure of approximately 4,000 square feet. The new facility will consist of 17 rooms, each unique in shape, style and size, equipped with modern technology and amenities to attract executive business travelers and leisure travelers. The cost of the proposed project is $4.484 million and would create 16 new full-time jobs and 18 part-time positions. 

Gateway Harbor Inn has been granted 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 economic impact of approximately $1.584 million.

Frank's Vacuum Truck Service, located on Royal Avenue in Niagara Falls, specializes in the transportation and management of hazardous and non-hazardous waste in the U.S. and Canada. Frank's Vacuum is selling its current facility to Norampac to accommodate Norampac's need for the construction of a new paper mill. Frank's has identified an 11-acre site on New Road in Niagara Falls, which it plans to purchase to construct a new facility, which will include a 25,000-square-foot terminal/office/parts warehouse. The proposed project is forecasted to cost $2.3 million and will retain the 45 current employees in addition to creating 15 new jobs. Frank's will receive a 15-year Brownfield PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual economic impact of approximately $2.4 million.

North Tonawanda's Taylor Devices Inc. manufactures shock absorbers, liquid springs, shock isolation systems, seismic isolators, vibration dampers, power plant snubbers and other types of hydro-mechanical management products. The company plans to purchase and renovate three existing structures on Ironton Street in North Tonawanda to expand its capacity and to consolidate operations from a site in the Town of Tonawanda. The proposed project is estimated to cost $2.7 million, retaining 95 employees while creating 20 new positions.

Taylor Devices will receive a 15-year industrial PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual economic impact of approximately $2 million.

Since 1956, Mawhiney Trucking Inc. has been in the commercial and residential site contracting business. The company is currently located on Lake Street in the Village of Wilson. Due to the expansion of the business, the company is seeking to build a 12,800-square-foot pole barn structure, renovate an existing 5,600-square-foot maintenance building on the company's property, and add 1,440-square-feet of new office space.

The cost of the project is estimated at $430,000 and will retain all 11 current employees and create three new positions. Mawhiney Trucking Inc. was approved for a 10-year industrial PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement.

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