By Mark Scheer
Niagara Gazette — TOWN OF NIAGARA — Representatives from the town's Industrial Development Agency are scheduled to consider an application for assistance from the new owners of the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls who are looking to undertake a multi-million dollar expansion project.
Board members will meet Wednesday to consider the application which town IDA Chairman Calvin Richards said involves a request for property tax and other incentives to assist with the expansion being proposed by the mall's current owner — Macerich Partnership, LP. Richards described the company's represents an investment of about $70 million, saying it is expected to result in the addition of roughly 170,000-square-feet of retail space.
"It's substantial," Richards said. "It's a huge expansion."
Richards confirmed that the proposal involves the former Sabre Park mobile home site adjacent to the mall. Earlier this year, Macerich bought Sabre Park at a foreclosure auction. The company bought the lein on the property, then used a newly formed subsidiary, Fashion Outlets II, LLC, to purchase the mobile home park for $4 million.
Minutes from the town IDA's recent meetings show Richards and other town officials, including his son, Supervisor Steve Richards, and Deputy Supervisor Dan Sklarski attended a Feb. 6 board session where Doug Morrow, Vice President Development for MaceRich, presented an overview of the company's expansion plans. Also in attendance, according to the minutes from the meeting, were Town IDA attorney Mark Gabriele, Town Attorney Michael Risman, state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, and James Ward, an executive advisor to Maziarz.
Acceptance of an application for assistance is the first step in the process of granting an incentive package to an applicant through the town. Upon accepting an application, the IDA board sets a hearing date to solicit public comments on the project, which is traditionally followed by a meeting during which the board either accepts or rejects the proposal.
Wednesday's board meeting will take place at 3 p.m. at town hall, 7105 Lockport Road.