NIAGARA FALLS - Real estate developer Frank A. Amendola has purchased two Main Street buildings to expand the legal complex he began with the former Key Bank building.
The buildings - the former Francis Optical store at 766 and the law offices of Ralph A. Boniello II and Corporation Counsel Ronald D. Anton at 770 Main - are across the street from the Key Bank building and City Hall. The purchases give Amendola control of two of the four corners at Main and Cedar Avenue. They are a block away from the Niagara County Courthouse on Third Street.
Amendola's plan gels with an economic development strategy developed by Parsons Transportation Group that divides Main Street into distinct zones and recommends strengthening and building upon niches that already have developed. Amendola's purchases fall into what Parsons called the "government corridor" between Walnut Avenue and Lockport Street, where City Hall, the Main Post Office, the Armory, Carnegie Building and Earl W. Brydges Library are located.
Amendola plans a 1,200-square-foot addition in the front of the Boniello building that will attach to the Francis Optical building, creating two handicap-accessible law offices. He plans to start work this fall and said he already has tenants.
He said the addition will be constructed of a similar type of brick or stone as the modern front of the Boniello building. He wants to restore the rear of the building, a former home, to its original Victorian style and already has started exposing the window trim and gingerbread along the eaves. The gypsum siding will be replaced with novelty Victorian siding, he said.
"I'm going to save this building," Amendola said.
He said he eventually may move his offices into the second floor, especially if space in his Niagara Office Building at 345 Third St. becomes scarce. The Ira G. Ross Niagara Aerospace Museum plans to move into the building by November from its current location in Summit Park Mall in Wheatfield.
Amendola sad he paid $90,000 for the Boniello building and $41,600 for the Francis Optical building.