Niagara Gazette


August 29, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Progress in the Falls: Brick by brick, project by project

Niagara Gazette — Progress is complicated. If it was easy, we would live in a much different city and a completely different world. The development of Niagara Falls has been a hot topic over the past few months in the media, coffee shops, and around kitchen tables. Unfortunately, many of those conversations are more about personalities than bricks and mortar. As your mayor, I think it is important that we look at where we have come from and why it is so important that we keep moving forward.

Just a few years ago, the former Rainbow Centre Mall was completely vacant, the United Office Building was rotting away, and the old Wintergarden sat as a painful reminder of our past’s broken promises. Downtown, our gateway to the world, was an embarrassment. Then something necessary and refreshing happened: we executed a development strategy as a team. We progressed.

In 2013, one third of the former Rainbow Centre is home to the beautiful Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The United Office Building was reborn as the Giacomo Hotel & Apartments, and the Wintergarden gave way to the restoration of Old Falls Street. Despite any spin or editorializing, these are the facts on the ground, and they speak for themselves. Today, people visit these attractions and enjoy themselves, instead of walking by empty buildings shaking their heads. The private sector noticed the improvements and is ready to invest more money into Niagara Falls. This investment will create construction jobs for our trades men and women, permanent jobs at the new businesses that open, tax revenue for the city, and longer stays by our visitors.

Just last week, we received impressive proposals for the remaining two thirds of the Rainbow Centre from two very strong development teams. The private sector is gaining confidence that the business climate is improving and our market is getting stronger. Right now, six hotels are being developed and hopefully we are close to finishing the development agreement for 310 Rainbow Boulevard, a site that was gifted to us as part of the Rainbow Centre transaction. None of this development happened behind closed doors. The city partnered with the private sector, USA Niagara, Empire State Development, and the Niagara County to select developers, coordinate incentives, and get the public approvals needed to complete the jobs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page