Niagara Gazette — As for the Opportunity Zone Program, which offers complete property tax abatement and relief from sales tax on building materials for five years, Dyster said it is meant to spur development in areas of the city that most investors would not dream of touching. The hotel project - to be located at the corner of Buffalo Avenue and John Daly Boulevard - is in a spot that is desirable for developers, Dyster said.
"The opportunity zone was created for different purposes," Dyster said.
The city is working with the Patel family to try to find alternate funding sources to make the project viable. The company has been in contact with representatives from the state's development arm in the Falls, USA Niagara Development Corp., and is beginning to put together applications for various programs, Dyster said.
The mayor stressed that the city is fully supportive of high-end hotel projects like this one for a downtown that has a shortage of top-notch accommodations.
"We want to give every dollar that we need to to make sure that the project is a go," Dyster said. "But not a dollar more."
Nirel Patel is managing the new hotel project for his father, B.F. Patel. He said the project needs the tax breaks to remain viable and that other hotel projects have received similar deals.
"We're just asking the city to be more considerate," Patel said.
Patel said he will continue to work with the city to make sure the project continues to move forward.
"It's one step in a very long trail that will lead to a completion of this," Patel said. "I was just hoping that the city would choose to move this on a little quicker than what it would normally take."
Niagara Street Business and Professional Association President Ron Anderluh spoke in favor of granting the Patels the full extent of the tax relief for which they have applied.