Project at 198-year-old building on Center Street approved for $100,000 revitalization grant
A $100,000 National Grid economic development grant will be used by developers as part of a $5.2 million conversion of the historic Frontier House in Lewiston into a mixed-use building.
The grant was made through National Grid’s Main Street Revitalization program, which assists developers and communities that are promoting investment in central business districts and commercial corridors. Main Street Revitalization is one of 18 economic development programs the company offers to support public and private investments that focus on site development, urban revitalization, job retention, marketing and growth of the regional economy.
Built in 1824, Frontier House earned the distinction as one of America’s finest hotels by the end of the 19th century. The building has been on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Niagara County since 1974. Besides a hotel, the building has been a private home, a fine dining restaurant, museum and hosted a McDonald's restaurant.
Redevelopment plans proposed by 4600 Group LLC include reinvigorating the property with restaurant space in the basement, first floor office and tenant spaces, and a mix of short- and long- term living spaces throughout. According to 4600 Group officials, the outside of the building will resemble what it looked like in its horse and buggy days.
The Frontier House has been closed to the public since McDonald’s ended its lease with former owner Hastings Lewiston and moved out in 2004.
“The Frontier House has an interesting history and is a Lewiston landmark that residents, tourists and passersby will recognize for its size and dual chimneys, which once bellowed smoke from the east and west sides of the building,” National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa said. “And while the building is well-known by those in Niagara County for the role it played hosting people of prominence as a hotel throughout the 19th century, we’re glad to have partnered with 4600 Group and to have played a small role as they write the next chapter in the building’s history. We’re able to do so because our wide range of economic development programs provide support for vacant buildings such as these.”
Ellicott Development CEO Bill Paladino is manager of 4600 Group LLC.
Company Director of Development Thomas Fox said, "We are thrilled at the award and generous support provided by National Grid on this important yet challenging historic restoration and reuse."
$100,000 Grant to Support $2 Million Cayuga Landings Brewery Project
Revitalization of vacant property to include restaurant, rooftop dining, waterfront recreation area
The $2 million Cayuga Landings Brewery and Restaurant Project, designed to breathe new life into a vacant waterfront property in Niagara Falls, is being aided by a $100,000 National Grid economic development grant. Funding was made available through National Grid’s Main Street Revitalization program, which is used to support renewal plans of main streets and commercial corridors in villages, towns and cities within the company’s service territory.
Willberco Development Inc. President and owner William Barrons said that, when renovation is finished sometime next year, the 6,200-square-foot building, at 519 Cayuga Dr., will include a state-of-the-art brewery, kitchen, tasting room and restaurant with outdoor waterfront recreation areas.
“The restaurant will include three levels of dining space, including patios and the first rooftop dining area in Niagara Falls, New York,” Barrons said. “Cayuga Landings will become a family destination for dining and recreation, as we’ll be building new decks and areas for watercraft rental, floating docks and landings.
The project calls for interior demolition and repair, upgrades to utility services, a new HVAC system, and brewing equipment to be installed in the basement. Barrons anticipates more than 12 full-time jobs will be created within the first year of operation.
In addition to National Grid’s economic development grant, the City of Niagara Falls secured Dormitory Authority of the State of New York funding to improve the nearby streetscape. Scheduled to be completed later this year, the improvements include new streetlighting, benches, crosswalks and bike racks.
"The Cayuga Landings Brewery and Restaurant Project is a welcome addition to the new Niagara Falls we are working to build," Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said. "This administration encourages and supports development in underutilized areas – especially those along our waterfront. As we continue creating a revitalized city and community, we intend to do everything possible to facilitate the efforts of people looking to do business in Niagara Falls."
Barrons said he looks forward to the day when the transformation of the old building on Cayuga Creek will be complete and is home to a thriving business that the community enjoys. He noted he appreciates the support from National Grid, which helped make his vision a reality.
“We’re grateful for the economic development grant that National Grid provided,” he said. “They’ve been a terrific partner throughout this entire process.”
Kujawa said, “Willberco shared their vision to transform the vacant building into a destination and, like so many customers before them, worked closely with us to determine which of our economic development programs can best benefit their investment. Our economic development grant programs are designed to help customers accomplish a wide range of goals, including unique and exciting plans and renovations like those that are planned at Cayuga Landings.”
National Grid’s Economic Development Programs
National Grid’s economic development grant program aligns with the company’s “Project C” initiative. This community commitment is designed to be a collaborative effort with customers and those in the communities the company serves to positively impact sustainability, neighborhood and community investment, and workforce development.
Since 2003, National Grid’s 18 economic development programs have provided more than $145 million in assistance, helping to create or retain more than 65,000 jobs and supporting almost $10.5 billion in private and public investment across upstate New York. More information about National Grid’s suite of programs is available at www.shovelready.com.
Additionally, National Grid has provided economic development support during the pandemic through its manufacturing productivity program, which fast-tracks economic development requests to assist businesses that transitioned facilities to produce critical medical equipment and supplies needed to fight coronavirus. The company also has committed resources and funding to assist families and customers who were impacted by the pandemic.