Niagara Gazette — State economic development officials are expected to announce some new details Tuesday about the future of the vacant portion of the old Rainbow Centre Mall building.
A spokesperson for the state-run Empire State Development Corp. confirmed plans for a press conference this afternoon where more detailed information will be made available about a pair of development groups that have expressed interest in reviving roughly 200,000 square feet of empty space inside the building.
In April, the state-run USA Niagara Development Corp. issued a request for qualifications from prospective development teams for the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of the vacant section of the building. The move followed the fall 2012 opening of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, which is already operating inside the former mall site.
Last year, state officials working with experts from the Urban Land Institute, undertook a week-long effort to identify potential uses for the empty section of the building. The RFQ was developed based on recommendations from ULI and a short list of qualified respondents were asked to submit detailed requests for proposals.
State officials had planned to name a preferred master developer for the project before the end of this year. Criteria for selection included teams that demonstrated "extensive experience in design, finance, development, construction and operations of large-scale urban mixed-use complexes incorporating retail, office, institutional and entertainment components."