Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced construction has begun on the new, $35 million Hyatt Place Hotel in Niagara Falls. The more than 111,000-square-feet, 128-room hotel will be the first non-casino new development of this scale in more than 40 years in downtown Niagara Falls. The project is expected to create 35 new jobs.
When the Hyatt Place is completed in fall 2017, the City of Niagara Falls will have "upscale" brands from the top three hotels chains: Hilton (DoubleTree), Hyatt (Place) and Marriott (Courtyard).
The governor made the announcement today at 310 Rainbow Blvd., the site of the new Hyatt Place Hotel.
"Niagara Falls is one of our state's premier tourist destinations and we've worked tirelessly to drive economic growth throughout the region," Cuomo said. "The Hyatt Place Hotel project is yet another symbol of Western New York's reawakening and will play an integral role in growing the region's thriving tourism industry by attracting new visitors and generating economic activity for decades to come. I am proud of the state's role in getting this project off the ground and I encourage residents and visitors alike to come see for themselves the unparalleled beauty that Niagara Falls has to offer."
"We have viewed this project as a transformational one for the Niagara Falls area," said Hamister Group Chairman and CEO Mark E. Hamister. "I am very pleased we are able to break ground today. This is a testament not only to Hamister Group's commitment to the Western New York community, but to our local, regional and state partners throughout this entire process."
Hamister Group is the developer of the mixed-use hotel on a city-owned site at 310 Rainbow Blvd. The project is financed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The $35-million project calls for a six-story, 128-room Hyatt Place Hotel and will also include 14,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space, including nearly 7,000 square feet of retail space facing Old Falls Street. Once completed, it will create 35 full-time jobs.
Construction is anticipated to take 15 months. R&P Oak Hill Development LLC is the general contractor for the Hyatt Place hotel project.
"With shovels in the ground at the Hyatt Place Hotel, we are seeing real, tangible proof that new development is coming to Niagara Falls, and every day we are creating new ways to attract visitors who want to experience the incredible beauty of Niagara Falls and then stay and explore this beautiful part of the state," Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said.
Assemblyman John Ceretto said, "This project has been a long time coming and I'm glad to be here to finally see it through as we continue to revitalize downtown Niagara Falls. These are the job-creating initiatives we need that will enhance our tourism industry and strengthen our local economy. I want to thank Gov. Cuomo and everyone involved that helped make this possible and I look forward to future downtown projects as we revitalize Niagara Falls. Our best days are yet to come."
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, "Today's groundbreaking, at 310 Rainbow Blvd., represents a significant investment into our growing downtown corridor. Building off an exciting new momentum in the City of Niagara Falls, this world-class project will generate longer stays, repeat visitors and bolster the city and region's image as a premier tourist destination. Gov. Cuomo, Empire State Development and the Hamister Group should be commended for their vision, persistence and leadership on this important development."
Including the Hyatt Place Hotel, downtown Niagara Falls has five new hotels recently completed or currently under construction and one hotel renovation/retail expansion project, totaling nearly 600 new rooms and more than $90 million in total project costs. USA Niagara Development Corp., a subsidiary of Empire State Development, has also acquired the historic Hotel Niagara for future development, and USAN is working on a development agreement for the Wonder Falls Resort, a proposed adaptive reuse of the former Rainbow Centre Mall that has a hotel component.
New York is also investing more than $60 million in infrastructure improvements for the Robert Moses/Niagara Scenic Parkway. The southern section (Riverway Project), with full completion expected in spring 2017, includes $18.8 million to enhance access to the waterfront and to Niagara Falls State Park. This will boost tourism by facilitating hiking, biking, fishing, cross-country skiing, all accessible from city streets for the first time in more than 50 years. The northern section involves removal of an underutilized two-mile segment from Main Street to Findlay Drive to be replaced with open space, scenic overlooks and recreational trails to make the waterfront more accessible.
The $42 million project marks the largest expansion of green space since the Niagara Reservation was designed in 1885 and will link the Niagara River Gorge and Falls into a single destination to allow easier access to the water's edge.
Hamister Group is a national health care and hospitality management organization located in Buffalo. Hamister Group's last development - 10 Lafayette, formerly known as the Tishman Building - was completed in 2014. The $42-million development serves as Hamister Group's corporate headquarters; has 18 loft-style apartments; and is the home of a new, 124-room Hilton Garden Inn.