Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN) - Governor Andrew Cuomo paid a visit to Niagara Falls today to announce that a major project is close to getting underway.
Uniland Development has been selected to head a $150 Million redevelopment of the Rainbow Center Mall. The mixed use project, being called the "Wonder Falls Resort," will include a hotel, spa, and an attraction that's being called Nik Wallenda's Daredevil Adventure.
"The Rainbow Mall is one of those symbols of lost opportunity," Cuomo said. "How many years has it been vacant? How many years have we passed by the Rainbow Mall saying someone should do something there? Well the someone is the man in the mirror."
The project will be partially supported by Buffalo Billion funds. Uniland expects it to be completed in about a year and a half.
"We're extremely excited to announce the project that fulfills our goals and transforms a site that was an eyesore in downtown Niagara Falls for over a decade," said NFTA Chairman Howard Zemsky.
The project is estimated to support about 1,500 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and create more than 300 permanent jobs after completion.
Cuomo calls the project a much needed investment. "Just give them a place to go, just give them an attraction to come to," Cuomo said referencing the tourists who stay away from the American side of the Falls. "We've been watching Canada investing billions and billions of dollars and growing that Canadian side, and that's been coming at the expense of the lack of development on the (American) side. That was yesterday, that's not today. That Rainbow Mall is going to be a magnet for tourism."
Zemsky said the new development will include an attraction bearing Nik Wallenda's name, but Uniland officials declined to go in to more detail or say whether or not it will be the large attraction Wallenda has been calling for since his walk over the Falls.