Niagara Gazette — The state is continuing its investment in downtown Niagara Falls with a $980,000 grant to a hotelier.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the incentive package, set to be awarded to Plati Niagara Inc. for its $10.2 million Wingate by Wyndham hotel project in a press release Thursday.
Cuomo said the grant — which will be administered by USA Niagara Development Corp. — will help provide quality accommodations in Niagara Falls, giving visitors another reason to stay on the American side of the gorge, according to the release.
“Having a full supply of first rate accommodations is essential to supporting the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, and this project by Plati Niagara is an important step forward that will create new economic opportunities throughout the region,” Cuomo said in the release. “I am encouraged to see investors recognizing that by enhancing the tourist experience there is great potential for growth in Niagara Falls.”
The company has started site work on the plot at Fourth Street and Rainbow Boulevard where the high-end hotel is set to be constructed.
Frank Strangio, vice president of Plati Niagara, said he is excited to be part of the resurgence of the city’s downtown.
“This project would not have been possible without the guidance and assistance of Mayor Paul Dyster and USA Niagara Development Corporation,” Strangio said in the release. “We cannot wait to do our part to bring the City of Niagara Falls back to its iconic status.”
The 110-room hotel will employ 15 full-time workers while an attached restaurant will employ 20 part-time workers, according to the release.
The plans also include 4,000 square feet of retail space.
Strangio and his family also own the Quality Inn Hotel and Antonio’s Banquet and Conference Center on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
Plati Niagara was awarded a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency last May.
That agreement will give the Strangios an estimated $1.5 million in tax breaks while providing an estimated $1.9 million in community benefit over the course of the deal, according to a project summary from the agency.
Mayor Paul Dyster said that by adding high-end hotel rooms downtown the Strangios are strengthening the city’s chances of attracting more visitors.
“Clearly the lack of hotel rooms here in Niagara Falls is holding back the expansion of our tourism industry,” Dyster said.
Dyster said the Strangios are proven hoteliers, with their Quality Inn becoming a popular facility in the city.
“We’re very happy to have an opportunity to work with a family that has a very strong reputation in the market,” Dyster said.
Dyster said another state project — the upcoming revamping of the Robert Moses Parkway South — has made the area along the upper rapids more attractive to hotel developers, with more hotel projects near the river in the works.
“We’re hoping (the parkway project) had something to do with their decision to invest in the neighborhood,” Dyster said.Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257