Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board taking “second look” at funding for planned Niagara Falls surf club

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The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency has decided to take a second look at the plans for a Surf Club in Niagara Falls.

Sheraton Hotel owner Michael’s DiCienzo’s was already approved for $2 million dollar Cataract Fund grant, with the condition that he obtain a grant from the state within six months.

Since then, a disagreement between the city and Dicienzo has raised some concerns with the IDA board. 

“What we’ve decided to do is, I’m putting it on the agenda for our next board meeting in August, and we’re going to invite the applicant back, if the board has some questions, based on whatever issues have been raised, that would be the time for him to answer them,” Stephen Brady Chairperson IDA.

DiCienzo’s spokesperson Geoffrey Reeds, say all that stands in his way of this project, is a grassy space just outside the hotel doors.

The hotel owner is currently in disagreement with the city over whether or not he has an agreement to purchase this area. 

“Certainly, I think the two legal teams will sit and talk through the agreement, find the common ground to take it to close,” Reeds said. “At the end of the day, how do we let a small parcel of land, that really is landlocked, stand in the way of a $15 million dollar project, that will grow our tourism industry.”

And, its this disagreement that is one of the primary concerns for the IDA. 

“The challenge for us is, if there is a dispute between the applicant and the city, over whether or not he has a contract to own this land, it was not actually a condition of the grant, but clearly it’s raised the question,” Brady said. 

Brady said, because the funding has already been approved, it would require a formal vote to rescind it. 

“It’s not automatic that we’re going to rescind it, but it’s not automatic that we’re going to let it continue.”

The planned surf club is basically an extension of the current building nearer the hotel’s current indoor pool club. It will include a wave pool for swimming and surfing.

Once all the hurdles are cleared they hope to start construction 2021.

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