Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN) - The $25.3 Million Hamister hotel project in Niagara Falls is a done deal.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Niagara Falls today to announce the agreement. Cuomo was personally involved in getting the Niagara Falls City Council to vote in favor of the project, which almost fell through just a few weeks ago.
"I was walking away" Hamister said. "I was prepared to call a press conference... and to announce the decision that I was walking away." Hamister said he had enough of the political grandstanding that surrounded the project.
Cuomo said he got involved when the project looked as if it would fall through. "It was a local project, it was being handled locally and it was going to be approved or not approved by the city council" Cuomo said. "It then became a problem, and we were afraid that the project was going to come off the rails, which would have really been a tragedy."
Cuomo then had Sam Hoyt of Empire State Development talk to the city council members. He eventually persuaded Councilman Robert Anderson to give the project a third vote that was necessary to move it forward.
"We communicated that to the City Council, that my two cents was that they should support it and they should pass it" Cuomo said. "It was their decision, it's a local decision, but my two cents after looking at the merits was that it was a good thing, and Niagara Falls needs growth."
The mixed use project that will feature a hotel will be the first non-casino new development of its size to break ground in Niagara Falls in over four decades. Anderson says he hopes it is the catalyst for even more development in Niagara Falls.
The project will develop on a city-owned site at 310 Rainbow Boulevard, and will be over 100,000 square feet, consisting of 110 upscale hotel rooms, 24 rental apartments, as well as ground level retail. It is expected to create 70 permanent jobs.