In response to questions last week, Jim Haggerty, owner of the PRCG firm, confirmed that NFR officials have met with representatives of the NDC. Haggerty described the meetings as "very preliminary discussions, no different than dozens of other meetings we've held with interested parties over the years." He added that it is the company's policy "not to discuss the content of these discussions publicly" and directed further inquiries to the mayor.
In its release, NFR said its new investment numbers are cumulative to June 30, 2013, and represent "one of the most significant private investments of capital in the city of Niagara Falls in its history." The release noted that NFR made the investment without the benefit of government subsidy of any kind.
The list of the company's accomplishments included:
• Assembly of more than 440 parcels of real estate downtown, saying all properties were purchased at fair market value and no property owner was ever forced to leave their property.
• An investment of more than $22 million for the demolition, asbestos removal and remediation of nearly 80 derelict, unsafe properties that formed the core of Niagara Falls economically challenged downtown. The release touted NFR's relationship with Buffalo ReUse, a not-for-profit group committed to providing job and educational opportunities, cross training in the trades, marketing, sales, and leadership development. NFR worked with the agency in an effort to recycle building materials.
• Another $2.2 million spent for security, repairs and maintenance of its properties. As a result of the NFR's efforts to work closely with the Niagara Falls Police Department, the company said its properties are "among the safest and most secure of any in the downtown area.
• Payment of property taxes and school taxes. The company says it has paid $5.6 million in taxes, along with various municipal utilities, making NFR and its subsidiaries among the largest taxpayers in Niagara Falls.
• Charitable donations totaling more than $1 million to local schools, community groups and non-profit organizations.
• Employment of 40 full- and part-time workers at Niagara Falls Aviation, which NFR says has paid $11.1 million in salaries and related benefits to employees in the Niagara Falls area.