Niagara Falls’ daily newspaper is considering selling its building, taking advantage of its prime location in the center of new development opportunities.
Ellicott Development Co. is negotiating with Community Newspaper Holdings of Montgomery, Ala., to buy the Niagara Gazette building at 310 Niagara St., and then lease another building to the newspaper.
No agreement has been signed as yet, but Ellicott founder and chairman Carl Paladino confirmed that talks are underway.
Community Newspaper officials did not respond to a request for comment. The company operates 123 smaller newspapers nationwide, including the Gazette, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal and the Tonawanda News, which will cease publication as of Jan. 31, 2015.
Founded in 1854 as the Niagara Falls Gazette, the newspaper has a circulation of just about 12,000 as of early 2013. The paper last year stopped publishing a print edition on Tuesdays.
The potential sale comes as the neighborhood around the Gazette undergoes an extensive transformation the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the city for decades.
The Gazette’s three-story white building fronts on the primary road leading to and from the Rainbow Bridge in downtown Niagara Falls, just a couple of blocks from the state park and the bridge itself. It’s also just across the wide boulevard from the parking ramp for the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino.
It’s also around the corner from the site at 310 Rainbow Boulevard where Hamister Group plans to spend $35 million to build a five-story, 120,000-square-foot mixed-use development, anchored by a 128-room Hyatt Place Hotel and up to 8,100 square feet of ground-level retail on Old Falls Street.
Nearby, Uniland Development Co. has been selected by the state to redevelop most of the vacant former Rainbow Centre Mall into the Wonder Falls Resort. That $150 million project would comprise a mixed-use development with a brand-name hotel tower, entertainment, restaurants and a water park, alongside Niagara County Community College’s Culinary Arts Center.
And the Strangio family’s Plati Niagara is planning a $10.2 million, 65,000-square-foot Wingate by Wyndham Hotel, with 110 rooms and up to 4,000 square feet of retail space at 333 Rainbow Boulevard.
The state is also spending $10 million from the Buffalo Billion to reconfigure the Robert Moses Parkway, to remove the limited-access highway and restore access to the Upper Niagara River from downtown Niagara Falls.