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Niagara County Industrial Development Agency rejects application from One Niagara

by jmaloni
Wed, Feb 8th 2012 01:45 pm

Agency also approves applications for assistance for two projects including first project in Niagara Falls under Opportunity Zone program

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board of directors today disapproved without prejudice an application for assistance from One Niagara LLC for a proposed $6 million renovation of the Niagara Falls landmark on 360 Rainbow Blvd. The board agreed that One Niagara LLC is invited to resubmit a new application when it is prepared to present clear evidence that issues of tax payments and ownership disputes have been satisfactorily addressed and resolved.

"It is extremely unfortunate that the board had to reject the application of assistance to One Niagara LLC, because the project is essential to the redevelopment of downtown Niagara Falls and the property has been underutilized for far too long. But at this time, there are too many unknown variables that need to be addressed before we can consider offering any type of assistance," said Henry M. Sloma, NCIDA chairman. "The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency is dedicated to assisting development and job growth in the county, but we must also ensure that all projects we assist pass a thorough review, and at the current state of the application we did not feel comfortable that One Niagara LLC had provided enough information to allow us to make a comprehensive decision."

In other agency business, the board of directors approved an application for assistance from Impressive Development Inc., which plans to purchase and renovate a vacant building in North Tonawanda to expand its operations. The board also approved an application from Surgit Singh to renovate and expand a closed and dilapidated gasoline station in Niagara Falls. This project marks the first Opportunity Zone application to be approved by the board within the city of Niagara Falls. Both applications were submitted at the January board meeting, and public meeting regarding the projects have been held.

Impressive Development is an embroidery and promotional products company located at 601 Division St., North Tonawanda. It has been in business in Niagara County for the past 20 years. The company will purchase an abandoned building located at 525 Wheatfield St., North Tonawanda, to increase its manufacturing business and allow it to add laser garment decoration (a new technology in printing on garments), along with traditional silk screening to its business offerings. The building requires significant renovations, repairs and upgrades to the plumbing.

The company anticipates making some of the space available for lease by other commercial and/or manufacturing tenants. The projected cost of the project is $960,000, and it will create four new jobs, while retaining all 20 current positions. Impressive Development was approved for a 10-year commercial payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, 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 $500,000.

Singh plans to renovate and expand a closed gasoline station and auto repair facility located at 710 Niagara St., Niagara Falls, into a Gulf-branded gas station, convenience store and franchised restaurant. The project entails extensive interior and exterior renovations, the installation of new underground fuel tanks, dispensers and canopy renovation, and a 2,725-square-foot addition with a franchised quick service restaurant selling hot and cold beverages, baked goods, sandwiches and related products. All renovations and new construction are projected to cost $800,000 and create 11 new jobs.

Singh was approved for a five year Opportunity Zone 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 $1.2 million.

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