Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 1, 2013

Cuomo defers when asked about Hamister hotel project

Niagara Gazette — “It’s a local matter.”

That’s how Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded Wednesday when asked for his thoughts on the state of a stalled $25 million hotel proposal for downtown Niagara Falls.

While various elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Niagara Falls and Buffalo, and state Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, publicly expressed hope this week that a deal will still be worked out with Buffalo developer Mark Hamister, Cuomo declined to weigh in on the controversial subject. 

“It’s a local matter and local government should decide,” Cuomo said while speaking with reporters following Wednesday’s casino cash press conference at the Seneca Events Center inside the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel. 

Members of the city council majority have balked at repeated attempts to authorize an agreement that would allow Buffalo-based developer Mark Hamister to build a $25 million hotel and mixed-use building on a plot of city owned land located at 310 Rainbow Blvd.

The trio of lawmakers, including Chairman Glenn Choolokian and his colleagues Sam Fruscione and Robert Anderson, have argued that the city should receive substantially more than the $100,000 Hamister would pay for the land under the terms of the current proposal. They also have questioned the level of transparency and information sharing during the process that led to Hamister’s firm being selected for the project. 

The city council, including all three members of the majority, agreed in February 2012 to designate Hamister as the project’s “preferred developer.” 

In recent weeks, majority members have questioned the “proposed development agreement” as presented to them by representatives from the state-run USA Niagara Development Corp. on July 3. 

On Tuesday, the council majority announced that the entire development proposal has been posted to the city’s website to allow residents to read it for themselves. In a release announcing the posting of the materials, majority members again suggested they were offered “no explanation” about “various clauses” contained in the document.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results