The Board of Directors of the USA Niagara Development Corporation announced approval of the $150 million redevelopment of the former Rainbow Centre Mall by the Uniland Development Company.
In a separate move, the Board also approved Niagara Falls economic development incentives to fund the construction of a new hotel by Plati Niagara Inc.
Uniland plans to redevelop the former mall into the Wonder Falls Resort, including a hotel tower, restaurants, entertainment venues, a water park and more space for retail and food and beverage outlets.
This project is designed to boost economic development by encouraging visitors to extend their stay and turn Niagara Falls into a year-round destination. Around eight million tourists visit Niagara Falls each year.
The Wonder Falls Resort project will also create 300 direct permanent jobs, in addition to more than 1,500 construction jobs while the resort is being built. The amount of public investment in the project is yet to be determined, and will be included in the approval for the development agreement.
In another move, the USAN’s investment in the $10.16 million development of a mixed-use Wingate by Wyndham Hotel has been made public. The USAN Board approved $980,000 in financial assistance to the project’s developer Plati Niagara Inc.
This new hotel is to be located on a currently vacant lot on Rainbow Blvd in downtown Niagara Falls, and includes a 110-room hotel atop retail and restaurant space. This project, first announced by Gov. Cuomo earlier this year in February, will create 15 new full-time jobs at the hotel and another 20 jobs in the retail and restaurant operations below.
The hotel project has already received approved from the Niagara County IDA for a PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) agreement for a period of ten years.
The USA Niagara Development Corporation is a subsidiary of New York State’s lead economic development agency Empire State Development.
USAN Chairwoman Francine DelMonte said in a release that their efforts to expand the quality lodging, restaurant, entertainment and meeting facilities downtown are coming together to support the tourism industry and make Niagara Falls stronger than it’s ever been.
DelMonte said she’s pleased to see investors like Uniland and Plati recognize the great potential for growth in the iconic city, and pledged that USAN will continue to enhance the quality of the visitor experience.