NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - There is a tug of war in Niagara Falls over a piece of property. A company wanting to build a $25 million hotel on a parcel of land says they will take their project elsewhere if the price isn't right to buy the land. The city says it can't afford to sell the land at the price the developer wants.
It's become a hotly contested issue in the Cataract City. Buffalo developer Mark Hamister's plan to erect a $20-25 million hotel and apartment complex on vacant land across from the old Rainbow Centre. Hamister says the deal was agreed to and he's not willing to wait much longer.
Hamister said, "I will take the investment dollars, the $20-25 million in investment dollars that we're prepared to invest in this project, I will take it to another community, yes."
The hang up for the project for the city council's three-member majority appears to be the $100,000 Hamister would pay for the property. Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian says the property is worth $2 million.
Choolokian said, "We're not killing' any projects, we want answers, we know what it's worth, we know what the property is going for around there, one piece of property went for $1.2 million to a local hotel guy. So you know what he didn't get no breaks, so why should we give a break to some guy from Buffalo?"
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster says, of the $25 million project, $20 million plus would come from private investment, the state of New York would pay $2.7 million and the city's share would be selling the parcel of land which was gifted to them to the Hamister group for $100,000. Numbers that seem to add up for him.
Dyster said, "I'm not sure what part of that deal I don't understand, but it sure looks like a good deal to me."
The council made no decision at Wednesday night's meeting, but Mark Hamister says he will not wait much longer before he decides to move on.
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