Urbacon’s Involvement in Niagara Falls Data Center a Good Sign for the City

The proposal of the Niagara Digital Campus, a $1.5 billion data center, allows the city to compete with the big cities in the world of big tech and AI advancements.

The project has two of the three main ingredients needed to succeed.

The developer, Urbacon, is a successful data center developer and operator.

Richmond Hill Data Centre designed and managed by Urbacon

Their collaboration with the landowner, Niagara Falls Redevelopment (NFR), is the second ingredient – the company has the land and financing.

The developers recently unveiled the site plan for the first phase of NFR’s land on John B. Daly Boulevard, across from the entranceway of the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Suppose the city does not block the path to development. In that case, the Data Center will make Niagara Falls home to the ever-advancing technological industry. It might convert Niagara Falls into a boom town like its namesake city across the river in Canada.

The project, as planned, will be one of the largest data center developments in the entire region, with plans to create over 5,600 construction jobs and 550 permanent positions.

Additionally, the proposed Niagara Digital Campus Technology Education Center will offer educational opportunities to foster tech-related skills in the community and help train future employees in this growing industry.

Urbacon’s “Niagara Digital Campus” digital rendering

The one thing holding up the plans is an ongoing legal battle begun by the city over the construction site.

Mayor Robert Restaino wants to take the land through eminent domain for his planned events center, a hoped-for 7,000-seat arena, which the mayor hopes to fund through taxpayer dollars.

While there is a dispute over the highest and best use of NFR’s land – either a $1.5 billion privately funded data center or the $150 million taxpayer-subsidized arena, there is a strong argument that both projects could be built if the mayor agrees to relocate his arena plans to a location already owned by the city.

This would save about $50 million in taxpayer money in the plans since it would eliminate the need to build a parking ramp and the $20 million cost of buying the land from NFR.

The two-project solution would lead to more employment. Mayor Restaino’s planned arena would employ about 20 full-time people and as many as 50 part-time employees during events, with many earning more than minimum wage.

The Data Center will employ 550-600 high-wage employees, making the two-project solution appealing.

Another advantage of the two-project solution is that the arena will likely lose more than $1 million annually, which city taxpayers must pay.

The Data Center and its employees will bring in more than a million dollars yearly in property taxes, sales tax, and other revenue.

The Data Center can pay for the arena.

Centennial Park Proposal

The involvement of a successful, experienced developer like Urbacon and the self-financing ability of NFR’s owners signals the Niagara Data Center will be a boon to the city.

As the global demand for data centers escalates alongside the AI boom, the Niagara Digital Campus represents Niagara Falls’ potential as a high-tech industry and innovation hub.






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