Opening up riverfront access and creating by lifemate


									       USA Niagara E-News
                               n e w         a t t i t u d e s ,                     n e w          o p p o r t u n i t i e s
                                                                                                                     Volume 2, number 3      SUMMER/fall 2006

 In thIs Issue                  Robert Moses Parkway
usA niagara Advances
   Old Falls street             Plans Move Forward
                                Governor Pataki pledges $5 Million
    neC to Receive

      $3 Million                           pening up riverfront access and creating
                                           economic development opportunities are
 Multi-Modal Access                        two of the anticipated benefits of future
Plan Wins APA Award             improvements planned for the Robert Moses Parkway.
          3                                                                                   Present
                                Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State
      usA niagara               Development (ESD) and its subsidiary USA Niagara,
    Recognized for              recently announced that USA Niagara reached an
  third street Project
            3                   agreement with the City of Niagara Falls, the New
                                York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic
  Businesses Receive            Preservation and the New York State Department
  usA niagara Grants
          4                     of Transportation for planning and design work to
                                reconfigure the Robert Moses Parkway’s North and
  namwest Donates               South segments. The agreement brings together for
    to Downtown
 Business Association           the first time all of the necessary agencies to address
                                improvements to the parkway.
                                “This agreement represents significant progress and
     USa niagara                advancement in reclaiming Niagara Falls’ waterfront
     DEvElopmEnt                for the community. This project presents appropriate        Pond, a water element that once adjoined the historic
     Corporation                economic and community development potential on             Buffalo Avenue district. Preliminary and final design
345 third Street, Suite 505     almost 250 acres of land adjacent to the Upper and          for the RMP South is scheduled to be undertaken over
 niagara Falls, nY 14303        Lower Niagara River corridors. Thanks to Governor           the next two years, with construction occurring shortly
  phone: 716.284.2556           Pataki’s vision and USA Niagara’s efforts, this agreement   thereafter. Governor Pataki has already committed $5
   Fax: 716.284.2917
                                has generated the most meaningful progress on these         million in funds under the State’s Multi-Modal Access            issues in three decades,” Chairman Gargano said. “It        Program toward construction costs for this segment.
                                sets the stage for both residents and visitors,” said       The Parkway’s North project involves undertaking
                                Christopher Schoepflin, USA Niagara President. “To          a formal public planning process to develop and
                                open up the parkway so people can easily access and         evaluate detailed alternatives for reconfiguring access
                                enjoy the Niagara River is a powerful thing.”               in this corridor, generally extending from downtown
                                The Parkway’s South project was included as the             Niagara Falls to Lewiston. Concepts outlined in the
                                “signature” project in USA Niagara’s 2005 Downtown          City’s 2004 Strategic Master Plan and other prior
 StatE oF nEw York              Niagara Falls Multi-Modal Access Program. The project       proposals will be considered along with new ideas
George E. Pataki, Governor
                                will make more than 40 acres of adjacent land true          for the corridor. The result will be the identification
                                waterfront property by improving both pedestrian            of viable community alternatives that could be
                                access to the waterfront and maintaining proper             advanced to design and environmental review,
                                vehicular access to the City and Niagara Falls State        making the project eligible for state and federal
                                Park. In addition, the project will restore physical        funding for construction. Under the latest round of
                                elements of Frederick Law Olmsted’s original 1885           federal transportation appropriations, $800,000 has
      EmpirE StatE
     DEvElopmEnt                design for the Niagara Reservation Park, including
                                                                                                            Robert Moses Parkway Plans continued on page 3
Charles A. Gargano, Chairman    restoration/interpretation of the former Port Day
  usA nIAGARA ADvAnCes OlD FAlls stReet, WAyFInDInG

          ld Falls Street will soon be           curb-cuts. Design features will permit           The Project’s second component will
          reconstructed under a project          limited vehicle access while maintaining         address the downtown area’s system of
          advanced by USA Niagara and the        suitable access for pedestrians and              signage to key tourist and community
City of Niagara Falls. The Project consists      bicyclists. Streetscape improvements             destinations.The DiDonato team, along
of two individual, but related components        and street furniture (benches, trash             with wayfinding subconsultant Russell
included in USA Niagara’s 2005 Downtown          receptacles, bicycle racks, bollards, etc.)      Design of New York City, will design
Niagara Falls Multi-Modal Access Program.        will complement the materials/patterns           a coordinated wayfinding system for
Old Falls Street currently passes through        used in both the Third Street and Rainbow        downtown Niagara Falls that will reduce
approximately $40 million in new                 Boulevard North (First Street) designs.          redundant signage and will incorporate
downtown investment; its reconstruction          Prime consultants DiDonato Associates,           characteristics that complement new
will help complement this new                    of Buffalo, along with subconsultants            downtown streetscape features (lighting,
development and will serve as a logical next     Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects            street furniture, etc.). A meeting of key
step from the recent road reconstruction         of New York City, were selected by               downtown stakeholders was held in June
and streetscape improvements made on             USA Niagara and the City to undertake            to gather recommendations and feedback;
Third Street and the soon-to-be completed        engineering, and urban design services for       general public meetings will be held
improvements to Rainbow Boulevard.               the project. Design work began in February       in August as the design progresses. The
The first component comprises                    2006. Construction is scheduled to begin         downtown wayfinding system is intended
improvements along Old Falls Street              in fall 2006, with completion estimated for      to be the first phase of a larger citywide
between Third Street and Rainbow                 March 2007. Three million dollars in casino      program, and includes the development
Boulevard North (to be renamed First             revenue funds and state aid economic             of a workable system of sign and graphic
Street), including new paving, full-depth        development funds have been allocated            specifications that could also be applied to
roadway reconstruction, drainage systems,        toward this project.                             other key areas of the City (e.g., “Little Italy”,
new granite curbing and accessible                                                                Main Street corridor, etc.). USAH

         nIAGARA exPeRIenCe CenteR tO ReCeIve $3 MIllIOn

          n June 15th, an update on plans
          for the Niagara Experience Center
          (NEC) was presented to about 200
business and community leaders during the
Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s 2006 Annual
Meeting held at the Conference Center
Niagara Falls. Paul Dyster, Chair of the NEC
Board of Directors, and Nicholas Winslow,
the lead entertainment consultant of the
project, briefed Partnership members on the
potential of the NEC to serve as a portal for
the region’s eight million annual visitors to
discover cultural attractions along the entire
Niagara River corridor and throughout
Western New York.
The planned 81,000 square foot NEC will be       historical presentations known as “The           journey through time that shows visitors
an economically self-sufficient “experiential    Gorge”; a motion simulator film experience       the formation and evolution of the falls.
museum” that combines authentic scholarly        “Wild Niagara”, which takes visitors on a
                                                                                                  The NEC has received $3 million in funding
history and stories of the Falls with state-     virtual trip over the falls; a large lake that
                                                                                                  from casino revenue funds as well as
of-the-art technology and entertainment.         will be used for the “Legends of the Mist”
                                                                                                  almost $500,000 from private foundations.
The museum is planned to include an entry        waterscreen projection technology show;
                                                                                                  Governor Pataki has also committed $10
area and regional concierge known as             and “Niagara Adventure”, an engaging
                                                                                                  million toward the project. USAH
“The Brink”; a central area for multi-media

Robert Moses Parkway Plans continued from page 1
been programmed to undertake design/                be funded through federal, state,
                                                                                                 usA niagara
environmental review of alternatives                and city transportation funds.               Recognized for
arising out of the public scoping process.
Efforts will focus on maximizing the
                                                    Niagara Falls Mayor Vincenzo V. Anello
                                                    said, “This significant commitment
                                                                                                 third street Project
environmental, cultural, social and

                                                    toward construction of the South project
economic benefits of reconfiguring access           puts it in a very strong position to give          he Western New York Branch
in the corridor, which could open about             the City, its residents and our visitors           of the American Public Works
200 acres in neighborhoods adjacent to              a seamless transition from downtown                Association (APWA) recently
the Lower Niagara River to improved gorge                                                        recognized USA Niagara and the City
                                                    Niagara Falls to our riverfront. It’s
access within the City of Niagara Falls.                                                         of Niagara Falls for the Third Street
                                                    encouraging that this cooperation
                                                                                                 Streetscape & Reconstruction Project,
The total cost for the planning and                 between state and city leaders will result
                                                                                                 which earned the “Project of the Year
design work for both the North and                  in a dramatic and positive change for a
                                                                                                 Award – Transportation Category.” The
South projects is $2 million and will               major entrance into our great city.” USAH
                                                                                                 Third Street Streetscape and Reconstruction
                                                                                                 Project earned the “Project of the Year
                                                                                                 Award – Transportation Category.”

                                                                                                 The award promotes excellence in the
Multi-Modal                                        and requirements of NYSDOT,
                                                   making the improvements suggested
                                                                                                 management and administration of
                                                                                                 public works projects by recognizing
Access Plan Wins                                   within the plan that much closer to
                                                   implementation. In accepting the award,
                                                                                                 the partnership between the managing

APA Award                                          USA Niagara President Christopher
                                                                                                 agency and participating consultants and
                                                                                                 contractors. It was presented in March at
                                                   Schoepflin remarked, “Acceptance
                                                                                                 the Association’s Annual Awards Banquet.

                                                   of this award in the Implementation
      he Western New York Chapter
                                                   category is appropriate in light of           The $3.7 million project began in May
      of the American Planning                     the fact that the City’s Strategic Plan
      Association (APA) recently                                                                 2004, when USA Niagara and the City
                                                   won a similar APA award in 2005
recognized USA Niagara, Parsons                                                                  of Niagara Falls partnered and approved
                                                   for best Comprehensive Plan.”
Brinckerhoff and Cannon Design for                                                               a funding agreement whereby USA
                                                   More than $21 million has already been        Niagara served as project manager for the
their Multi-Modal Access Plan (MMAP)
                                                   committed to the implementation               landscape architect and consulting portion
for downtown Niagara Falls. The project
                                                   of MMAP projects and many of the              of the improvements, while the City of
received the Outstanding Planning
                                                   elements of the MMAP are already              Niagara Falls provided the water main
Award in the subcategory of “Project
                                                   underway or have been completed. For          improvements and oversaw construction.
Implementation”. The project received
                                                   example, the Third Street Improvement
the Outstanding Planning Award in the              Program was completed in 2005;                Improvements include reducing the size of
subcategory of “Project Implementation”.           Old Falls Street is currently in final        traffic lanes to allow for widened sidewalks;
The Multi-Modal Access Plan, funded                design and is funded for completion;          planting trees along the promenade to
in part by a grant from New York                   and the Rainbow Boulevard North               encourage foot traffic; identifying gateways
State Department of Transportation                 and South Streetscape Project will be         to the area; and installing special markers,
(NYSDOT), aimed to assist stakeholders             completed by the end of this year. In         new lighting and street furniture.
in Niagara Falls in identifying,                   addition, planning and design phases
prioritizing and advancing a set of                for Robert Moses reconfigurations             APWA is an international educational
feasible improvements in Downtown                  are scheduled to begin in late 2006.          and professional association of public
Niagara Falls that enhance the ability of          Most importantly, the MMAP provides           agencies, private sector companies, and
all modes of transportation to circulate           local, state, and federal agencies with       individuals dedicated to providing high
and access destinations. The plan is               a blueprint to help make decisions            quality public works goods and services.
also compatible with the Niagara Falls             on advancing transportation                   Originally chartered in 1937, APWA is
Strategic Master Plan, the Niagara Falls           initiatives, and to secure funding            the largest and oldest organization of its
State Park Master Plan, and NYSDOT/                for project implementation.                   kind in the world, with headquarters in
federal programming initiatives.                                                                 Kansas City, Missouri, and 67 chapters
                                                   This award makes the MMAP eligible
The MMAP was written in a way                                                                    throughout North America. USAH
                                                   for State and National awards from the
that is compatible with the language               American Planning Association. USAH

 Third Street                                                                                                n e W s

Businesses Receive
usA niagara Grants

         new wine bar and façade
         improvements to an historic
         building were recently approved
for grants totaling $150,000 through USA
Niagara’s Grant Program. A $100,000 grant
was awarded to CGGW Inc. to support a           Proposed New Wine Bar Interior                  225 Old Falls Street
proposed mixed-use development project
                                                Constructed in 1923, the building is one        now home to ACS Educational Services,
located at 501-507 Third Street and a $50,000
                                                of the few existing architectural examples      was in the past home to the Cataract
grant was awarded to Anwal Properties
                                                that pre-dates the city’s urban renewal         House, J.P.Morgan’s restaurant, Power
Partnership for a façade renovation project
                                                period. The building has been previously        City Trust and Marine Midland banks.
to the historic building located at Third and
                                                determined to be eligible for listing on the    Anthony Girasole, Partner, of Anwal
Old Falls Streets.
                                                State/National Registers of Historic Places     Properties Partnership said, “I have enjoyed
Shawn Weber, Managing Member of                 as part the Intensive Level Survey for the      working with the team at USA Niagara,
CGGW, LLC said, “I appreciate the               Downtown Niagara Falls Neighborhood,            their support and guidance throughout
assistance from USA Niagara and look            completed in March 2005 by the City             the process is appreciated.” USAH
forward to working together with them           of Niagara Falls. The property which is
to bring this project to fruition.”
CGGW Inc.’s proposed $436,000 project
calls for opening a new upscale wine
bar. The project also includes façade
                                                 namwest Donates                                “We’re very engaged in the future of this
                                                                                                community, and supporting a group like
improvements and renovations to                  to Downtown                                    the DNFBA makes perfect sense,” said
                                                                                                Namwest CEO Mike McBride. “We are
the first floor retail space, making it
available for additional new business            Business Association                           in the business of owning and operating
                                                                                                our hotels and have a vested interest in

investment. The third component
                                                           embers of the Downtown               Niagara Falls’ redevelopment efforts.”
of the project will renovate three
                                                           Niagara Falls Business
apartments on the second floor,                                                                 DNFBA is guided by a volunteer executive
                                                           Association Inc. (DNFBA)
providing attractive new residential                                                            board and includes property and business
                                                 recently received a $10,000 donation
space for the Third Street area.                                                                owners in the downtown tourist district.
                                                 from Namwest, LLC, owners of the
                                                                                                Formed in November 2005 as a result of
Anwal Properties Partnership’s                   Holiday Inn Select on Third Street,
                                                                                                more than a year’s worth of discussions,
proposed $108,000 façade improvement             which is currently undergoing extensive
                                                                                                DNFBA priorities include improving the
project includes rehabilitation/                 renovations to become a Crowne
                                                                                                cleanliness and aesthetics of the downtown
restoration of the building’s north and          Plaza Hotel. The donation will be used
                                                                                                area and providing assistance with business
east wall elevations and new signage.            to support DNFBA development,
                                                                                                development and promotional programs.
                                                 beautification and promotional initiatives
                                                 for downtown Niagara Falls.                    Namwest, LLC is a Phoenix-based real
                                                                                                estate development firm that specializes in
                                                 “Namwest has demonstrated its intention        capitalizing on turn-around opportunities
                                                 of becoming a long-term partner in Niagara     that contribute to the surrounding
                                                 Falls, investing time, expertise, resources    community. For information about
                                                 and dollars not only into delivering a great   Namwest’s Niagara Falls hotel renovation
                                                 hotel property, but also into bettering this   project, visit the company’s website at
                                                 community,” said John Faso, DNFBA Chair. USAH

501-507 Third Street: Wine Bar Exterior


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