Niagara Gazette

Niagara Living

December 29, 2007

HOT SPACES: Waterfront condos, urban lofts and interesting new places to live in the Niagara region

Those who listen carefully can hear it. The nail guns are whirring and the cement mixers swirling, creating an undercurrent of construction activity that just might shore the foundations of the whole Niagara region.

With a nod to the City of Buffalo — whose leaders have finally come to understand that the only way to revive a downtown is to get people to live there, both Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda are looking to add sophisticated urban living spaces in or around their downtown areas. Meanwhile, the Town of Lockport will see some trend-setting senior living spaces. And while the City of Lockport is still waiting on new downtown residences, renovations around the canal area likely mean it’s only a matter of time before upscale living makes an appearance there as well.

The new year will welcome a wide ranges of interesting new living options into the region. Some of those include:

Niagara Falls has new Manhattan-style lofts

In the “hold ’em” poker game developers are playing with the land in downtown Niagara Falls, few are bold enough to show their hands. Most are holding tight, letting their dilapidated, vacant buildings sit until somebody makes a move.

Only a handful of developers have taken the risk and dropped their cards on the table. The result, thus far, is a vibrant face lift for the city’s second tallest building, an old apartment building that’s getting an extreme makeover and some cutting-edge loft apartments over an urban wine bar on Third Street that would turn people’s heads in Manhattan.

Shawn Weber of Youngstown and his partners have built three urban lofts over The Wine Bar on Third Street, offering hardwood floors, skylights, granite countertops and air conditioning.

Weber, who is partnering with brothers Dave and John Giusiana, architects from Lewiston, said they were looking to create New York City-style apartments, “and here we are,” he said, standing in one of the three units available for lease.

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