Niagara Gazette —
Anderson, along with Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti and Councilman Charles Walker - the two council members who supported the project from the beginning - voted to first remove the agreement from the table and then approve the proposed deal on Monday.Cuomo thanked the “enlightened” council members for their actions.
While walking towards a press gaggle after the event, Cuomo stopped to personally thank Anderson.
“You did a gutsy thing,” Cuomo said. “You did the right thing.”
Hamister Group, founded in 1977 by Mark Hamister, was selected as the preferred developer by the state’s local economic development arm, the USA Niagara Development Corp., as part of a state procurement process. The company's selection was unanimously approved by the city council in February of 2012.
Under the final agreement, Hamister will receive the parcel at 310 Rainbow Blvd., which was gifted to the city by Baltimore developer David Cordish in 2010. His company will also receive a $2.75 million state grant as part of an incentive package.
Mayor Paul Dyster, who has long supported the Hamister plan, said Cuomo has demonstrated a strong commitment to Niagara Falls and Western New York since taking office. Dyster praised Cuomo for brokering a deal that will allow Maid of the Mist to continue operations on the American side of the gorge and for helping to put an end to the gaming revenue dispute between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians.
“Those two agreements, as well as this one today, were the result of the governor’s inclusive style of bringing all parties to the table in order to deliver results for the people of the state,” Dyster said.
Dyster predicted the hotel project will help put the city back on track to being a leader in tourism.
“The Hamister hotel will reinforce Niagara Falls as a premier destination in the nation,” Dyster said.