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Transfer of mall is official

A Niagara Falls development saga has ended with the signing and filing this week of the paperwork for the Niagara County Community College culinary institute in the former Rainbow Centre mall.

The various deeds and contracts were signed Monday and Tuesday, and recorded Wednesday in the County Courthouse.

Rainbow Square Limited Partnership, a company controlled by Baltimore developer David Cordish, donated the mall and a nearby lot to the NCCC Foundation and then dissolved itself.

The college foundation handed the mall off to the City of Niagara Falls, which signed a deal with NCCC to allow the culinary institute to be built in 70,000 square feet of the 200,000-square-foot mall.

NCCC has permanent rights to 400 parking spaces in the mall ramp, which is to be renovated. The city agreed not to allow any other educational institution in the rest of the mall. Adult entertainment and sales of firearms also are banned.

Eventually, there will be two separate utility accounts for the complex, but for now the contract calls for the city and NCCC to decide within 30 days how to split up the bill.

That deal and the price the city will charge for the 400 parking spaces are being negotiated. Mayor Paul A. Dyster said the City Council will have to vote on those agreements.

The city also ended up with a vacant lot of slightly less than an acre near the mall. "We're very excited for the first time to have a site that is development-ready right in downtown," Dyster said.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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