A long-vacant former office building in downtown Niagara Falls has been converted into a new hotel. It is just the latest project to receive state funding as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to revitalize the Cataract City.
The old Moore Business Forms building, at Buffalo Avenue and John Daly Boulevard, is now an 82-room Courtyard by Marriott. The adaptive reuse project received a $1.25 million grant from Empire State Development. Its President and CEO, Howard Zemsky, said the Patel family's $12.5 million investment speaks loudly toward their confidence in the future of Niagara Falls - especially now that the state has removed the Robert Moses Parkway.
"The governor's Niagara Scenic Parkway project is reclaiming hundreds of acres of greenspace and helping Niagara Falls importantly connect back to the waterfront," Zemsky said.
But it does not stop there. Zemsky said Albany has also invested nearly $70 million in Niagara Falls State Park and other projects.
"Restoring Niagara Gorge, investing the Niagara Falls Aquarium, building a new Cave of the Winds facility, expanding outdoor recreational activities," Zemsky said.
Cuomo said all the work is starting to pay off. To date, the public sector has invested $260 million in eight new hotels with a total of over 1,000 new rooms.
"Is Niagara Falls coming back? Of course it is. Why? Because the Patels say it is with $12 million. And Goldman Sachs says it is with their investment. That's how you know Niagara Falls is coming back. Our job is to keep it going. Keep it going. Keep priming that pump. And generate more and more private sector economic activity," Cuomo said.
Up next - Zemsky said the state is planning to start acquiring underdeveloped long vacant properties in Niagara Falls.