Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 30, 2013

TOP STORIES (2): Hamister hotel fiasco gets Cuomo's attention

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Hamister had planned a press conference in early September where he was to announce that he was walking away from the project out of frustration with the intransigent council majority.

But that event was cancelled at the last minute after the developer received a call from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“He made it clear to me that this project was important to his overall plan for the region and he would get personally involved to make sure it goes forward,” Hamister told the Gazette this fall.

Anderson, one of the three councilman stalling the project, was convinced to change his vote after several calls and a visit from Cuomo’s local point man Sam Hoyt and the proposed agreement was passed in the middle of September.

The final details of the agreement were hashed out by representatives of all involved parties and Johnson filed a copy of the completed agreement with the city clerk’s office on Dec. 23.

The developer is now working to secure a flagship for the hotel and will work on final design of the building this winter and spring.

Hamister said he hopes to have shovels in the ground this summer at a Cuomo press event marking the completed deal days after the agreement was passed by the council.

“I look forward to this project being the seed for many more projects, not just by us, but by others,” Hamister said after the event. “We can really start to make the two sides of the border a little more equal.”

TOP 10 The Gazette is counting down its top stories of 2013 through Jan. 1. Here's the list so far: n 10: Teens involved in Isabella Tenant murder sent to prison n 9: 2013 brings change to Niagara University n 8: Lewiston Civic Center saga n 7: Fashion Outlets seeks $71M expansion n 6: Town of Niagara supervisor indicted n 5: Signs of progress for troubled Falls roads n 4: Elections bring change to political landscape n 3: Maid of the Mist focuses on U.S. site n 2: Hamister hotel deal n 1: Coming Wednesday

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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