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Niagara County Industrial Development Agency approves applications for assistance for Niagara Jet Adventures, Niagara Falls hotelier

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Aug 14th 2013 01:40 pm

Board accepts application for assistance for a $3 million energy project

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board of directors today approved applications for assistance received at its June meeting from Niagara Jet Adventures LLC for a new tourism jetboat tour company in Youngstown, and from 452 Third Street LLC for a conversion of an abandoned building in Niagara Falls into an 11-room hotel.

"These are two great projects because they continue to enhance a robust and growing tourism industry, which our agency has been so strong (and) supportive of over the last few years," said acting Chairman Michael Tucker, who also is mayor of the City of Lockport. "In addition, it's a win-win whenever we can take an abandoned building and return it to the tax rolls."

The board also approved the assignment and assumption of the payment in lieu of taxes that was granted to Niagara Generation to Sterling Energy Group Inc. The NCIDA board of directors also accepted an application for assistance from Sterling Energy Group Inc. for a proposed plan to construct a warehouse on a vacant parcel on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the City of Niagara Falls that would service the newly purchased power plant.

Niagara Jet Adventures is proposing to open a new tourism attraction that would provide boat tours from the Water Street marina in Youngstown up the Niagara Gorge to the whirlpool and back to the marina. The company is working with Old Fort Niagara on tours, as well as with local businesses to offer package deals. This type of attraction is proven to keep tourists in the area for longer stays, which will benefit local hotels, restaurants and other attractions.

The new tourism attraction is estimated to cost approximately $900,000 and will create 11 new full-time jobs. Niagara Jet Adventures received a five-year PILOT and sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions. The project is estimated to have an annual positive community benefit of $191,516.

Sheikh Elahi, principal of 452 Third Street, plans to acquire an abandoned, two-story, 4,585-square-foot masonry structure located at 452 Third St., in the City of Niagara Falls. The company intends to design and renovate the site and structure and operate it as an 11-room hotel. Elahi currently owns and operates a 32-room motel on Grand Island Boulevard in Grand Island and has more than 10 years of experience owning and operating motel properties. The project will place a vacant property located in the heart of the Third Street retail district back in use and generate both sales tax and bed tax revenues for the community.

The acquisition of the abandoned building and renovation into a hotel is estimated at $595,000 and will create four full-time positions. Elahi was granted a 10-year PILOT, sales tax exemptions and mortgage recording tax abatement. The new hotel will have an annual community benefit of $129,277.

Sterling Energy Group of Gary, Ind., has purchased the idle Niagara Generation power plant at 5300 Frontier Ave., in the City of Niagara Falls. The company plans to retrofit and bring the facility back on line, generating approximately 50 megawatts of power. The company is planning to invest approximately $2 million in the plant and create 18 new full-time jobs. The project is projected to have an annual community benefit of approximately $1.57 million.

The NCIDA board of directors approved the assignment and assumption of the PILOT that was granted to Niagara Generation to Sterling Energy Group. The board also granted sales tax exemptions on the various improvements proposed for the plant. The company plans to construct a storage facility on a vacant parcel located at 6000/6100 Niagara Falls Blvd., in the City of Niagara Falls, that will include a warehouse along with a compressed natural gas fueling station.

The acquisition of the abandoned parcel and construction of the warehouse is estimated to cost $3 million. Sterling Energy has applied for a 15-year PILOT on the new facility and sales tax exemptions. The new warehouse will have an annual community benefit of $353,097.

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