The Niagara Falls Urban Renewal Agency (NFURA) is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to real estate developers, investors and brokers to propose new projects for key sites in the downtown Niagara Falls Gateway District. It said this might be an opportunity to acquire and invest in properties in prime locations for new growth.
The Gateway District is at the nexus of the tourism-centered downtown, the international Rainbow Bridge Crossing and newly accessible Niagara River Gorge, following the historic removal of the Robert Moses Memorial Parkway that had cut property off from the water for more than 50 years.
“Our city is transforming and entering a new era of prosperity, with great new opportunities for development projects,” Mayor Robert Restaino said. “I’d like to personally invite you to meet with us, tour the city and work with us to create the next great project in Niagara Falls.”
The NFURA has been working for the past year with partners at Empire State Development and a consultant team, led by Wendel, to build a comprehensive strategy, establish strategic development sites and identify a toolset to support new projects within the Gateway District.
The mayor’s office said, “This is an exciting vision that plans for the urban revitalization of a critical important area, building upon the many recent successful public and private projects occurring within and adjacent to the district in the past several years.”
The Niagara Falls Urban Renewal Agency was established in 1964 under General Municipal Law §593. Its original and continuing mission is to contribute to the revitalization the City of Niagara Falls generally and to more specifically, eliminate blight, and revitalize and redevelop those properties within the established Urban Renewal District.
The mayor’s office said, “Entering 2020, a new era for development in the City of Niagara Falls, New York has arrived. The city’s landscape is changing dramatically for the better. Niagara Falls is investing in game-changing projects that will enhance the development market of the city. Today, the city and state are completing the removal of more than 3 miles of highway along the Niagara River. This is a once-in-a-generation project that will return neighborhoods, commercial districts and the visitor community to the water and truly re-establish Niagara Falls as the ‘City in a Park.’ ”
In 2019, the City of Niagara Falls and NFURA designated the South End Downtown Gateway District as an urban renewal and strategic investment area and it released Developing Niagara Falls 2020, a prospectus on the opportunities for new investment throughout the city, aiming to attract new projects from local, national and international development companies.
Developing in Niagara Falls in 2020 and beyond will depend in large part on the relative success of the NFURA in its implementation of its Gateway District Redevelopment Strategy, which calls for focusing planning attention, resources and the marketing of sites, buildings and blocks along Niagara Street downtown and including renewal areas north of the downtown tourism district.