Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the next step in the transformation of downtown Niagara Falls, as two major businesses have been selected to propose comprehensive plans for the redevelopment of the remaining 200,000 square feet of the former Rainbow Centre Mall.
The proposals will be submitted by Intertrust Development Inc., one of the largest hospitality business owners and developers in Western New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario; and Uniland Development Company, a leading builder, developer and manager of commercial real estate in Western New York. The final proposal will be selected by the end of 2013.
Today's announcement advances a key priority of the Governor's "Buffalo Billion" Western New York investment initiative, paving the way for major private investment in downtown Niagara Falls to help boost the city and region's status as an international tourist attraction.
"Niagara Falls is one of our state's most valuable tourism assets, drawing visitors from around the globe to see the magnificent falls, and a transformed downtown will help the City of Niagara build on this strength to further revitalize the local economy, Governor Cuomo said. "The selection of two major Western New York developers will bring Niagara one step closer to putting shovels in the ground and transforming the former Rainbow Centre Mall. Through the Buffalo Billion, the State made a commitment to rebuilding Western New York's economy and creating jobs in communities that have seen economic hardship for too many years, and today we are continuing to deliver on that promise."
Proposals for transforming the city-owned property will include detailed financial and development plans, including a relatively high-density, mixed-use redevelopment with active ground-level uses. The propertys strategic location near Old Falls Street between Niagara Falls State Park and the Seneca Niagara Casino make it an important development that could foster relationships between these areas and future development on adjoining parcels.
Under an agreement with the City of Niagara Falls, Empire State Development (ESD), through its subsidiary USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN), is leading the process for selecting the redevelopment plan for the property. A recommendation on the selection of the preferred developer is expected to be made to the Niagara Falls City Council for their final approval by the end of the year.
Senator George D. Maziarz said, "The Culinary Institute has been a hit since it opened its doors and we must capitalize on that momentum. There are hundreds of thousands of square feet waiting to be redeveloped in the former mall, and the process outlined today should help identify the next big economic development project to be launched in Niagara Falls."
Assemblyman John Ceretto said, I am excited by this next step in redeveloping the Rainbow Mall property in downtown Niagara Falls because its eventual completion represents more jobs for hardworking Western New Yorkers. This important economic development project is being funded by the Buffalo Billion, which I was happy to help pass because it has the potential to help Niagara Falls become a world-class tourist destination. I am looking forward to seeing the full redevelopment plans come to life as we continue the work of transforming downtown Niagara Falls.
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, With Governor Cuomos support and an increased focus on our city, I am thrilled to see continued progress on getting this project off the ground, said These two pre-qualified developers have presented creative ideas for the reuse of the former Rainbow Centre Mall that will further contribute to Niagara Falls as a global destination. I look forward to seeing the finished product.
Intertrust Development Inc.s preliminary concept is for a proposed upscale, urban mixed-use entertainment development, which will include themed franchised restaurants, a retail plaza, attractions, hotel and other amenities. Intertrusts partners on the project are LPCiminelli, a successful construction management provider; JCJ Architecture, which has designed more than 100 hospitality and entertainment projects throughout North America, including the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel; and Landrys, which owns and operates more than 400 properties, including more than 40 unique brands such as Landrys Seafood House, Bubba Gump Shrimp and Rainforest Cafe.
Uniland Development Companys preliminary concept is to transform the structure into a year-round destination to extend visitors length of stay with a focus on redevelopment efforts such as a hotel, themed attraction, retail/restaurant space and expansion of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Unilands partners on the project are Cannon Design, an award-winning, full service architecture, engineering and interior design firm with projects in more than 20 countries, and Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which is headquartered in Buffalo and is a leader in the hospitality sector with a portfolio that includes world-renowned hotels and cultural attractions.
Im pleased to announce that we are another step closer to selecting a qualified developer for the former Rainbow Centre Mall, said USAN President Christopher Schoepflin. With Governor Cuomos support through the Buffalo Billion initiative, I am confident that the successful redevelopment of the former Rainbow Centre Mall will help to create new jobs, increase the tax base and support new investment, while returning a key city-owned property in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls back to a productive and self-sustaining use.
The Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan identifies tourism assets, with an emphasis on Niagara Falls, among the Buffalo Niagara regions three top sectors for investment to transform the regions economic trajectory. Part of this historic investment by the Governor in the area economy is already planned to go to key public infrastructure facilities and programming to expand the tourism experience in Niagara Falls. Strategic efforts to attract or support private sector development in the downtown area near Niagara Falls State Parkan area that includes the former Rainbow Centre Mallare also envisioned by the Investment Development Plan.
USAN, a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corporation, is solely dedicated to the support and promotion of economic development initiatives in Niagara Falls by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls. For more information, visit www.usaniagara.com.