Niagara County IDA accepts application for tourism projects
It is estimated that the projects will retain 17 full-time jobs and 47 part-time jobs, while creating approximately 50 new full-time jobs and about 20 seasonal and part-time jobs. The projects also will generate more than $10 million in capital investment. The applications submitted are projects that include a hotel refurbishment and a hotel conversion in Niagara Falls, and a new visitor’s center and winery along the Flight of Five — Erie Canal Locks 67-71 — in Lockport.
“These are all tourism related projects that meet the criteria for assistance by our agency and our board is very pleased that two of the projects utilized the Opportunity Zone program which was specifically created to incent investment in the cities of Niagara Falls and Lockport,” said Lockport Mayor and acting NCIDA Chairman Michael Tucker. “I am personally pleased to see the continued investment along and around the Flight of Five as the potential of this historic project for our city will provide a huge economic impact not only in Lockport but Niagara County.”
Local hotelier B.F. Patel, through Indian Ocean LLC, is seeking a commercial PILOT and sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions to invest $6.650 million to convert a vacant office building at 900 Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls into a Courtyard Marriott hotel. The conversion includes an addition of a third floor and general improvements to the rest of the historic structure. When completed the new hotel would create 24 new jobs and 9 part-time jobs with a total annual payroll of approximately $700,000. The estimated annual community benefit is $3.37 million.
Hydraulic Race Company is the operator of the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride in Lockport. The company is proposing to construct a 1,136 square foot visitor’s center at 5 Gooding Street. Hydraulic Race Company is seeking a five year Opportunity Zone PILOT and sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions. The total project cost is $104,300 with estimated annual community benefit of $172,100.
Maid of the Mist Hospitality, LLC is seeking to invest $4 million to refurbish the Comfort Inn The Pointe located at One Prospect Pointe in Niagara Falls. In order to retain the Comfort Inn franchise from Choice Hotels, refurbishments and upgrades must be performed with completion deadlines. Maid of the Mist Hospitality, LLC is requesting a 10 year commercial PILOT sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions. The total annual estimated benefit to the community is approximately $3.9 million.
Geise Properties, LLC – Old City Hall is seeking a five year Opportunity Zone and sales tax exemptions to renovate space within this historic property located at 2 Pine St., Lockport, which will be leased to the Flight of Five Winery as well as other food and tourism retail operations. The renovations are estimated to cost $200,000 with an estimated annual community benefit of $1.145 million. Birdsong Holly, a renowned Lockport inventory, designed and constructed the first functional water turbine in the building and Geise Properties intends to renovate this original power source.
“We know how critically important it is to retain and create jobs, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that we need to invest in our tourism industry in order to create a critical mass of quality lodging as well as venues and attractions to get people to our region to visit and spend money,” Tucker said.