Opportunity for Niagara Falls Development at Hand With Millions in Jobs and Tax Money at Stake

By Tony Farina

NFR’s development partner, Toronto-based Urbacon, last week released its site plan for the first phase of its $1.5 billion data center project which would be built on 10 acres of what is now referred to as “Parcel-0” off John Daly Blvd. on land owned by NFR but under siege by the city in an eminent domain legal proceeding.

The very detailed site plan was released almost simultaneously with Mayor Robert Restaino’s statements critical of NFR’s development record, to which NFR’s James Haggerty said the site plan, which took months to prepare, had not been formally submitted to the city given the ongoing eminent domain legal fight. But there were other snags early on in preparation, when the city bureaucracy did not provide NFR with key information needed to complete the site plan including sewer lines, etc. The city jammed up the submission with red tape, according to NFR, making it much more difficult to complete.

Haggerty added that the city has been a no-show on a settlement proposal made by NFR that included land and money as well as the development proposal sent in early June, and to make a formal submission now would be, in his words, “ludicrous.”

According to Roger Trevino, the hard-working face of NFR in Niagara Falls, the city blocked submission at every turn, but Trevino adds that nonetheless “we have now presented it to the public for their review” in the heat of the mayoral battle for which development is a key issue, with regards to the digital campus proposed by NFR, or the mayor’s $150-million events center for which their is no funding and still much uncertainty about a site despite the legal eminent domain fight.

Roger Trevino

“We are pleased to present this plan for the Niagara Digital Campus, which we believe will jumpstart a tech revolution in the City of Niagara Falls,” said Trevino last week.  And that’s what he and NFR and Urbacon have been saying for quite some time. It is a project favored by Republican mayoral candidate Carlton Cain and it is sure to be a topic at next Wednesday’s mayoral debate at the Niagara Street School.

NFR and Urbacon say the digital campus would blend seamlessly with the surrounding area and would be one of the largest data-center developments in Western New York, a magnet, they say, for additional high technology jobs and opportunity in the region. In all, 5,600 construction jobs would be created and eventually the campus would add 500 full-time jobs and an economic impact including wages of more than $250 million a year.

“Niagara Digital Campus” digital rendering

The mayor sticks to his position that NFR can’t be trusted, but a full-scale public review of the digital campus project has yet to see the light of day, with the mayor insisting his plan is better despite the fact there is no money behind it.

Perhaps the future is at hand for Niagara Falls, and an opportunity for high-tech job creation and millions in tax money presenting itself for the public to review.  NFR’s plan deserves much more attention from city officials than it has received because so much is at stake.

Let’s see what’s on the table at next Wednesday’s debate.

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Gerald Skrlin
7 months ago

What is on the table is a program organised by the Niagara Falls, Shits-ette!

Mark Sneer smears shit while Rick Phiffer the Stiffler adds stink!

And candidates go along with it! – why can’t we have non vetted questions?

we can, but the Gazet shit rags, Smer and Stiffler still gotta pay off their mortgages, which goes to show they are bottom-eaters, and they just cannot ‘fill the pantaloon.’

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