Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 11, 2013

Hamister hotel deal update coming Tuesday

Niagara Gazette — The contract that will see a mixed-use building go up on a downtown parking lot is nearing completion.

Mayor Paul Dyster, who has been asked to give an update on the project’s progress at Tuesday’s city council meeting, said the agreement between the city, developer the Hamister Group and New York state should be ready for ink in the coming weeks.

“There’s not really a lot happening right now other than putting the final touches on the agreement,” Dyster said.

The project became controversial this summer when Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian, and council members Robert Anderson Jr. and Sam Fruscione tabled a development agreement for the project — a document containing the basic terms to be included in the contract — because, they said, the terms outlined were not sufficiently protecting the city’s interests.

The stalemate was broken when Anderson agreed to change his vote after operatives of Gov. Andrew Cuomo pressured him to get on board.

The Hamister Group is hoping to start construction at the beginning of the 2014 building season, but needs to get various plans and agreements approved and set in place before breaking ground.

Dyster said it is important to get everything in place before spring so that the project does not face further delays.

“Even with everybody on the same page trying to move a project forward it still takes a long time to get done,” the mayor said. “We don’t want to do anything that would create a delay in the next construction season.”

Choolokian did not return calls seeking comment Thursday or Friday.

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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