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Shown is an artist's rendering of a possible redevelopment concept for the former Niagara Falls Army Reserve site.
Shown is an artist's rendering of a possible redevelopment concept for the former Niagara Falls Army Reserve site.

Town of Niagara: Master developer sought for former U.S. Army Reserve site

Fri, Jul 29th 2016 10:15 am

The Town of Niagara is looking for a master developer to operate and maintain the former Niagara Falls United States Army Reserve site at 9400 Porter Road.

Serving as the local redevelopment authority for the acquisition and redevelopment of the site, the town released a request Friday for information/qualifications for interested companies or individuals to develop the property.

The RFI/RFQ states, "Through this RFI/RFQ, the LRA invites qualified individuals or firms to provide a variety of property management, marketing and development services in exchange for the right to develop the property."

It further states, "The LRA is seeking a development partner to operate and market the site as a competitive location for business investment, undertake selective demolition, attract and manage tenants for existing buildings, and oversee new construction as appropriate. The LRA intends to lease the facility in its entirety to the selected master developer, with the potential for future fee transfer."

The LRA is working to acquire the property via the U.S. Army through "a less than fair market value economic development conveyance," the RFI/RFQ states, which will include a planned payment agreement in order to "allow the LRA to accomplish the successful redevelopment of the site, while minimizing the financial risk to the town." The RFI/RFQ further states "An EDC is necessary to generate new employment opportunities for the Town of Niagara and the larger region."

The NFARC site borders the Niagara Falls International Airport and includes approximately 19.85 acres of land, 154,260 square feet of space within 10 buildings, several paved areas and a fence around the its entire perimeter.

The current plan indicates five of the buildings, considered in good condition, will be reused, while the EDC calls for the other five to be demolished due to their poor condition and old age. Of the five buildings planned for reuse, four range in size from 2,400-20,000 square feet. The fifth and largest building features a barrel arch aircraft hangar and approximately 33,750 square feet of open floor space. In addition, it houses office, shop and classroom space amounting to about 63,000 square feet.

Despite plans to reuse these buildings, the RFI/RFQ states, the LRA will "remain flexible to the dictates of the market, in order to take advantage of any opportunities to create new jobs. This may include demolition of the remaining buildings and site preparation to develop new build-to-suit space for a prospective tenant or tenants, including the development of speculative aviation-related or R&D facilities. Long term, it is envisioned that much of the site will be redeveloped with new aviation-related, light industrial, technology and/or flex-space buildings to serve a variety of businesses."

So far, a group of emergency preparedness organizations have approached the town (in cooperation with the Niagara County Economic Development Corp.), requesting to use portions of the property. The actual title transfer for the site is slated for late 2016 or early 2017.

"These potential tenants are to be given priority as potential tenants for portions of the facility," the RFI/RFQ states. "The LRA is currently negotiating with the Army to lease all or portions of the property prior to conveyance, if necessary, in order to expedite redevelopment and allow interested tenants to occupy certain buildings."

Interested master developers can submit a qualifications package to the town until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, via the Niagara Local Redevelopment Authority, c/o Town Supervisor, 7105 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14305. For a complete copy for the RFI/RFQ, visit www.townofniagara.com or email Craig Seymour of RKG Associates Inc., the LRA's redevelopment consultant, at [email protected].

The LRA seeks to reach an agreement with the master developer by Sept. 30.

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