The state is lending a hand on a project that could help revitalize the former Summit Park Mall in the Town of Wheatfield.
Albany has approved a $750,000 grant for a new micro-brewery near the Niagara Falls Airport. The Big Thunder Brewing Company will be located in the former Save-A-Lot store in the largely vacant mall now known as the Summit.
"This is very good news for Niagara County, and for the economy, and for that piece of property certainly," said State Senator Rob Ortt. He points out, that over the years, a lot of projects have been proposed for the large piece of property along Williams Road.
"But these guys obviously are for real. And obviously the three quarters of a million dollars in state funding, I think, will go a long way to making that project a reality," Ortt said.
The state grant will help fund the necessary brewing equipment. And Big Thunder's planning to invest $3.1 million on the project. Along with a micro-brewery, plans include a sports bar, restaurant and a small distillery. Ortt says, it could help attract other businesses.
"You create that volume, you create that central mass if you would of people going there, and all of a sudden other restaurants or other development starts to go in. So this is certainly a big step in that direction. And I imagine there will be others to follow," Ortt said.
Big Thunder's expecting to create about 50 new jobs when the facility opens early in 2018.