Niagara Falls $10M Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects revealed

Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — We now know where the City of Niagara Falls will be putting its $10 million downtown revitalization money it was awarded from New York State back in August 2019.

A local planning committee has been working to figure out what projects the Downton Revitalization Initiative funds should be used for. Now that they’ve been selected, the Department of State will work with project sponsors to create a contract and timeline for each development.

Check out where the funds will be headed:

Establish Academic Innovation Hub: $1,100,000: Development of an academic and community space for Niagara University. The facility will include professional workforce training, job promotion services, English as a second language programs, urban development and planning, small business development, early childhood care, and an eSports lab.

Transform 1810 +1812 Main Street into Boutique Hotel: $700,000: Renovation of two vacant buildings on Main Street into a mixed-use development with retail space and boutique hotel rooms.

Implement a Small Project Grant Fund: $620,000: Establish and implement a capital improvement grant program for small-scale building improvements throughout the DRI area.

Renovate 2025 Main Street into Mixed: Use Development – $500,000: Renovation of the existing 9,900 SF building to enhance the convenience store, add one retail storefront on Niagara Street on the first floor and create apartments on the two upper stories.

Redevelop 2002 Main Street into Retail and Office Space: $400,000: Renovation of 2002 Main Street into a mixed-use building with first floor retail and community space as well as modern office space. The first-floor community space is available for community gatherings.

Create an Outdoor Eating Space and Museum at DiCamillo Bakery: $250,000: Creation of a small museum and gallery space, an outdoor dining area, sidewalk and landscaping improvements at DiCamillo Bakery. Includes purchase of state-of-the-art equipment to expand production.

Implement Streetscape Enhancements on Main Street: $3,720,000: Streetscape enhancements along Main Street including sidewalk improvements, replacement of street trees and street furniture, as well as the conversion and replacement of light poles on Main Street to LED.

Complete Implementation of the Freedom Plaza and Overlook: $1,500,000: Site improvements adjacent to the Suspension Bridge to create a plaza/event space and an overlook to the Niagara River connecting to the trail system and Whirlpool Street. The plan also includes an 18-space parking area for visitors and interpretive artwork and signage.

Launch Public Art and Placemaking Initiative: $615,000: Public art mural installations on seven properties within the DRI area to enhance placemaking and the public realm.

Create a Public Plaza on Main Street at Cleveland Avenue: $295,000: Create a plaza and event space, inclusive of public art, movable furniture, special paving, and landscaping in front of the Public Safety Building.

$300,000 is being used as a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize downtown.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says the money being poured into Niagara Falls will make the area a world-class tourist destination and a transformed place to live.

“As a Western New Yorker and frequent visitor to Niagara Falls, I know the city is a critical economic asset that has so much to offer. Through our Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we are building on Niagara Falls as a world-class tourist destination to create more economic opportunity and further transform the community into a great place to work, play, and raise a family,” said Hochul.

City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino thanked Governor Cuomo and believes these projects will bring new life to the Falls.

 “I’m grateful for the Governor’s continued commitment to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative with the selection of these dynamic projects for Niagara Falls. These projects, which were chosen with a great deal of community input, will infuse new life into the community by investing in our cultural and historical assets to ensure our residents and visitors can continue to enjoy these for years to come,” added Restaino.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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