Niagara Gazette — “Who is Milstein?”
That’s a question a local group of community organizers will begin asking on a Web site it plans to launch today as part of a larger campaign aimed at drawing attention to the state of development in downtown Niagara Falls.
Members of the Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope, or NOAH, are planning to gather near the intersection of Niagara Street and John B. Daly Boulevard this afternoon to discuss what they are calling their “art as action” campaign, which the group says is aimed at drawing attention to the “broken promises and lack of redevelopment that plagues Niagara Falls.”
Mehgan Miller, a Falls native and Niagara University graduate who serves as a spokesperson for NOAH, said the “Who is Milstein” Web site and development campaign represents “several months worth of research” performed by members of her organization. Miller said the research included reviews of various development contracts, planning documents, board decisions and other matters related to economic development, specifically in the downtown area. That includes Milstein’s own, Niagara Falls Redevelopment, a company that has, through various affiliates, purchased more than 400 parcels downtown since entering into a 1997 master redevelopment agreement with the city.
NOAH intends to formally launch the site, www.whoismilstein.com, following the press conference.
Because, Miller said, his companies own a significant portion of land downtown -- land NOAH members believe could be better served by one of the wealthiest real estate developers in the country.
“He has the unique position of being a very influential, powerful man who could be doing a lot of good things in this community, but is not,” Miller said, referring to Milstein.
Charles Zehren, a spokesman for Milstein’s office, did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
NOAH organizers are students of the teachings of the Chicago-based Gamaliel Foundation, an organization that models its community advocacy activities after 1960s organizer Saul Alinsky. The Falls-based group has targeted Milstein and NFR on several occasions in the past.