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Slaughter funding for economic development near airport

by jmaloni
Thu, Jul 15th 2010 11:00 am

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, NY-28, last week announced $395,390 has been awarded to the Town of Niagara to redevelop more than 22 acres of prime real estate and 170,000 square feet of facility space near the Niagara Falls International Airport.

The Town of Niagara will receive $355,790 as part of a federal Community Planning Assistance Grant, which is part of a Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment Program. The Town of Niagara will provide $39,600 in local matching funds toward the project at the former Army Reserve Center.

Plans call for redeveloping the Army Reserve Center, which is now located on the "commercial" side of the airport on Porter Road.  The facility space is located near the Niagara Falls Airport runways and major highways. In fact, a study funded in 2007 found that the 22-acre site has prime development opportunity for commercial use. The study was funded in part by an $85,000 grant secured by Slaughter.

"This is an important economic development opportunity for Niagara Falls, and I'm pleased to see this federal money come where it's needed," said Slaughter. "This grant will be instrumental in helping us to turn former military assets into areas that can house new commercial and industrial development."

"The Town of Niagara Local Redevelopment Authority will be advertising for proposals to fulfill the requirements of this grant shortly, and I urge all local companies and attorneys who qualify to apply," said Town of Niagara Supervisor Steve Richards. "I would naturally prefer that the $395,000 benefit the local economy, so I'm hopeful that someone locally can qualify. I can be reached at 297-2150, ext 136, to answer any questions or you may request from me that a R.F.P be sent to you or your company."

Currently the Army Reserve Center is housed on a 22-acre site on the commercial side of the airport. Once the Army Reserve relocates to the new Readiness Center on the "military" side of the airport late next year, the 22-acre parcel can be used by the Town of Niagara for prime redevelopment opportunities at the Niagara Falls Airport.  In 2006, Rep. Slaughter help secure $30 million to build the new Army Readiness Center to better serve the military's needs and help protect the base from future base closures.

"We're so pleased to receive this grant because it allows us to take advantage of the prime real estate we have to attract new commercial interest to the Niagara Falls area," said Richards. "We appreciate the help of Congresswoman Slaughter and the opportunity to move our local economy forward.

The $395,390 awarded will be used to conduct a more detailed analysis and begin the process to transfer the property to the town.  Specifically, funding will be used to help prepare the town's economic development conveyance application, undertake environmental reviews, and complete a market analysis and appraisal. Future development at the property could include but are not limited to development of an air cargo center, aircraft testing/storage/modification facility, or mixed used commercial or industrial.

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