Flock, everyone seems to be over the moon about the future of Main Street, and I’m cautiously agreeing with them.
Buffalo-based investment group Blue Cardinal Capital just closed on 38 buildings in Niagara Falls, most of them on Main Street, for the tune of $3.2 million. The buildings were purchased from Richard Hastings after nearly 2 years of negotiations.
While this investment is massive, the program will take a considerable amount of time. Phase one will involve stabilizing the vacant buildings, some of which has been around for nearly a century. The word “decade” popped up repeatedly during the news conference.
While the new Niagara Falls Train Station was a definite draw for these investors, the key element in the decision was the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway (and the subsequent largest expansion of Niagara Falls state park since its creation).
To look at why we should be cautiously optimistic about this project, look no further than Mayor Paul Dyster’s closing remarks at the press conference. Quoting Winston Churchill, Dyster stated “This is not the end, it might not even be the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.”
This is not an overnight solution to Niagara Falls. The city will not magically become utopia overnight. This project, like every other project in the works, is going to take time. With “decade” being thrown around with many projects, we’re looking at Niagara fully blooming to glory in 2030. This isn’t too bad of a turnaround time for 50 years of damage, but we all must remember to be realistic. There are other, smaller projects currently in the works, as well as recently completed projects, that will plug the gaps between now and then. We must all work together to help the city that we love to live, work and play in. That is the only way that this will succeed.
That being said, what would you like to see move into Main Street? Let me know in the comments below.
One thought on “Why you should be excited (but not too excited) about the Main Street deal”
I’d love to see apartments or condos fill the upper floors of the former Jenss Department Store, but a boutique hotel and a restaurant on the ground floor might make more sense for that building, given its location close to the new Amtrak Station, the Whirlpool Bridge, and the Rapids Theater. All of those could help fill the rooms. All of those buildings could accommodate apartments on the upper floors, and shops, cafes, etc. at street level.
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