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Niagara County IDA approves tax break for NT housing & retail complex

Fri, Jan 20th 2017 11:10 am

Last week, members of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency voted 7-1 in favor of providing tax break assistance to VisoneCo Site Development for its $20 million housing and retail project planned for North Tonawanda.

The complex is set to be located at 600 River Road, along the Niagara River. It would consist of 100 housing units and two 3,000-square-foot commercial retail buildings, creating 10 to 18 local job opportunities.

VisoneCo Site Development sought assistance from the IDA after it participated in the New York state brownfield program to remediate the site, a process that cost more than $1 million.

The IDA's assistance will save the company almost $4 million through a 10-year estimated sales tax exemption on building materials, a mortgage tax exemption and reduced property taxes.

The company would be required to make an estimated $1,938,552 payment in lieu of taxes, which would include $364,785 being paid to the county, $569,260 to the City of North Tonawanda and $1,004,506 to the North Tonawanda School District.

City of North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas, an IDA member, voted in favor of the project.

"It sounds like a tremendous project and it is located right on the river," Pappas said. "There's going to be public access and, I think, the design of the project, the buildings involved, are going to be a real enhancement down there."

He described the project as "an initial step" toward a potential transition from an old industrial area to a new, attractive area along the river.

"So I think it can, as time goes on, be a catalyst for some very, very nice development down there and beautification," Pappas said.

"I think it's also a great location," he noted.

Pappas said the location is ideal because it is within walking distance of downtown North Tonawanda, Gratwick Park and nearby marinas, as well as "on a connecting link" between Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

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