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Senecas Pushing for Master Development Plan

Ross John wants to make plans.

What’s ahead for downtown development in Niagara Falls now that the possibility of a new casino has gone up in smoke with the settlement of the gaming impasse between the state and the Senecas?

Well, the Hamister hotel project remains up in the air over the council’s concern about the wording of the resolution that would authorize the sale of the land to Hamister to start the ball rolling.

As for the other potential players, the only stakeholder willing to talk on the record about development possibilities is Ross John, chairman of the Seneca Nation’s Commission for Economic Development.

“What we need is a master development plan,” John told the Niagara Falls Reporter when asked to comment about development possibilities in Niagara Falls.

John said the Senecas have had discussions with various people about possibly working together on a major entertainment/tourism project, but so far nothing has come together.

“We’re hoping that these talks we’re having will lead to something that makes everybody whole,” said John, but he emphasized that all the parties eventually need to come together on a master plan that will inject new energy and excitement in the downtown area.

“We would like to do something to help Niagara Falls,” said John, “but we have other interests [Salamanca, Buffalo] and eventually we’ll have to make a decision. Right now, our talks in the falls are just get-togethers to see where things are going.”

John did sound optimistic that progress on a master plan could come in the near future, but he also warned that if things don’t work out in Niagara Falls, the Senecas will turn their attention to their other interests in the region.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

AUG 06, 2013