Niagara Gazette —
There are other factors to consider as well, including the roughly $100,000 in parking ramp revenues the city expects to receive annually once the hotel is open and in need of parking spaces for its customers.
Compare that to the $27,000 the city has been receiving each year under the current lease agreement at 310 Rainbow Blvd., which a group of local businessmen have been using as a parking lot in recent years.
In addition to the investment figures, there are literally hundreds of jobs at stake here, both in terms of construction work while the building is being built and in full- and part-time positions that will be needed once the hotel begins operation.
As with any proposal of this type, questions need to be asked and answered before the city signs off. The council majority did its job and raised some valid points. The asking price for the property is certainly worthy of scrutiny.
However, it should not be a deal breaker, not when tens of millions of dollars in private investment is at stake and not when so many jobs are on the line in a community desperate for them.
We strongly encourage the council majority to pull the Hamister agreement off the table and approve it so construction can begin.
The city does not need, as Empire State Development Corp. President and CEO Ken Adams pointed out recently, to send another “wrong message” to the Hamister group. Nor does it need to take action that may deter other developers from considering investment in our community in the future.
Over the years, Niagara Falls has developed an unfortunate reputation for being a place where good projects go to die, often due to infighting, poor decision making and petty politics.
In this case, the city has a potential success story just waiting to be written.
The last thing the community needs is yet another cautionary tale, the kind that reminds us all why investors are so often reluctant to do business in Niagara Falls.