Niagara Gazette — An expected court hearing that might have helped to clarify the ownership and property tax status of the One Niagara Building did not go forward on Friday.
Instead, attorneys who are arguing over everything from ownership to back property taxes at the South End landmark are scheduled to take part in a conference on Tuesday with State Supreme Court Justice Ralph Boniello III. Boniello is presiding over a complicated set of proceedings involving the current and former owners One Niagara and the city.
The owners of One Niagara LLC, the company that owns the former Occidental Chemical Corp. headquarters located at 360 Rainbow Blvd., entered into a settlement agreement with the city in February which required the company to pay the city $1.55 million of the $2.3 million in back property taxes it owes by April 30.
One Niagara's owners did not make good on the payment by the end of April, citing the need to clear title and secure financing for the property.
The city's legal department, citing the failure to pay by One Niagara's owners, asked Boniello to schedule a trial and dismiss the settlement. City officials and Corporation Counsel Craig Johnson have said that they now intend to foreclose on the building if the settlement is dismissed.
Paul Grenga, the Lewiston attorney who leads the One Niagara ownership group, previously suggested the city is moving the trial forward prematurely, indicating that the group will be able to move forward with financing plans for the property in a matter of weeks.
A majority of city lawmakers have indicated a willingness to cooperate with One Niagara's owners and allow them more time in the interest of securing payment on the building's outstanding property tax bill.Contact reporter Rick Pfeiffer at 282-2311, ext. 2252.