|Subject: This will have you shaking your head....AGAIN
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Date Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 09:49:42am
Author Host/IP: 66-109-37-228.static.firstlight.net/18.104.22.168
I have been telling you folks that what you read is not always the truth and that ages can pass before anything begins to be developed here. As usual, I have offered sage advice on what the reality is here. Here is the latest BS between Howard Milstein, who owns and hold the city hostage and the city. Seems Howard want to inflate then eminent domain price with this latest SCAM DEVELOPMENT project of his own.
Just 24 hours before a scheduled eminent domain hearing on 12 acres of land in the South End, the owner of the property has announced plans for a $1.48 billion development on the parcels.
Niagara Falls Redevelopment (NFR) and Urbacon, a Toronto, Ontario-based construction company unveiled plans late Tuesday afternoon to "develop the Niagara Digital Campus," describing the project as a "technology and data center campus in the heart of Niagara Falls, New York." That location has previously been targeted by the city for the development of Centennial Park, a planned events center and campus that Mayor Robert Restaino has described as “a new gateway to the city of Niagara Falls.”
NFR, a subsidiary of New York City-base Milstein Properties, has been engaged in what have been called "contentious" negotiations with Falls officials to acquire “all the real property located at 907 Falls St. and a portion of property along John Daly Memorial Parkway” to develop the Centennial Park project. As recently as April 26, Milstein representatives presented the city with a counter-offer to “transfer 20 acres of property to the city between Niagara Street and Falls Street, and John B. Daly Boulevard and 13th Street.”
The city rejected that offer, noting that the Milstein companies don’t own all the properties on that acreage. There are 30 individual homes, two churches and Niagara County’s Department of Social Services Building located within those boundaries.
“We understand that the city has identified NFR’s Falls Street property as its favored location for the recently announced Centennial Park project and has commenced the eminent domain process to that end,” said Roger Trevino, an NFR principal. “We firmly believe that eminent domain proceedings are not needed, and we oppose such actions as highly premature. Eminent domain can take years and cost taxpayers millions. It would be completely unnecessary in the face of the opportunities we have been discussing with Mayor Restaino.”
But Restaino said NFR's property is not properly zoned for the data center project and that the city has offered alternative sites for development.
"They want to build a data center where the property is not zoned for that," the mayor said. "I've had NFR people tell me Centennial Park is the 'perfect place' for (a data center). This is about (increasing) the value of their property."
Restaino suggested the sudden announcement of a $1.48 billion development by a company that has controlled a large swath of South End properties for 25 years, without completing a single project, smacks of an attempt to inflate the cost of a potential eminent domain proceeding.
"I can't imagine any other potential reason for it. But that's just speculation," the mayor said.
In its announcement, NFR said the project would create "an estimated 5,600 construction jobs and more than 550 permanent jobs for area residents." NFR said "the Niagara Digital Campus would be among the largest private development projects in the city’s history."
The Milstein Properties subsidiary also said it would "donat(e) public amenities to the City of Niagara Falls, including land with potential use as a new park and events center, and $250,000 per year for 10 years for upkeep and maintenance."
In the announcement, Urbacon was characterized as "one of the premier developers of commercial and industrial properties in Canada and the northern United States.
NFR said Urbacon would develop the project, which "will be home to approximately 600,000 square feet of high-security, technologically advanced data-center space, creating state-of-the-art data and IT jobs for area residents."
“We are truly excited at the prospect of bringing our new facilities to Niagara Falls,” Peter Russell, vice president, Properties & Development Management at Urbacon, said. “With ready access to hydroelectric power, Niagara Falls is an ideal location for the campus. And the city’s northern climate requires less reliance on mechanical cooling, allowing for operations that are quieter and more energy efficient.”
Urbacon has reportedly built similar facilities in Montreal, Toronto and Richmond Hill, Ont.
“Our Niagara Digital Campus will be among the largest developments in Niagara Falls’ history, bringing jobs and high-tech opportunity that will benefit area residents for generations,” Trevino said. “We have been in discussion with city officials for months and look forward to working closely with the city as we refine the plan – creating a campus that enhances and serves all members of our community.”
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