NIAGARA FALLS – The city has a tentative deal to buy a former industrial parcel that it wants to develop into a business park.
The Dyster administration is offering to buy 3625 Highland Ave., which includes the Niagara Science Museum, for $165,000.
The agreement requires City Council approval.
The 5.5-acre parcel owned by Nick P. Dalacu includes a total of three buildings, including the museum, and is being pursued by the city because officials are looking to create shovel-ready industrial development sites in order to capitalize on anticipated spinoff from the SolarCity solar panel factory project in Buffalo.
The full-market assessed value of the property is $72,200, and casino revenue is eyed as the funding source to finalize the transaction, according to Thomas J. DeSantis, the city’s acting director of planning and economic development.
As part of the transaction, Dalacu would pay the approximately $32,000 balance of a loan, with interest, issued by the city’s Community Development Department in 2000 to Canrom Photovoltaics, a former business of Dalacu’s, DeSantis said.
In addition, Dalacu will pay back taxes owed on the property and set aside $20,000 for the continued operation of the museum under the pending agreement.
If the purchase is finalized as planned, the city would transfer the property to its Urban Renewal Agency, which would lease the current museum space back to Dalacu for three years at $400 per month.
City officials have previously said that part of their interest in the property is to help ensure the museum has a chance to expand and develop further as a tourist attraction.
The three buildings on the site have roughly 37,000 square feet of space; the two vacant structures may have to be torn down.
The property, which is near College Avenue, was once part of a Union Carbide facility.
The site has been the subject of environmental remediation efforts in the past.