A one-story brick building and almost one acre of land near the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park has been donated to Niagara County Community College Foundation, NCCC President James P. Klyczek announced Tuesday.
The Cordish Companies, which is based in Baltimore, donated the property at 333 Prospect St. in Niagara Falls to the college. The parcel includes a 23,000 square foot building that has housed the Hard Rock Café for over 20 years, plus a large seasonal gift shop, JD Gifts, and the 4D Thunder Theater.
“The donation is timely for the foundation as the college seeks more space to expand its hospitality and tourism academic programs downtown,” said NCCC Board of Trustees Chairman Vincent R. Ginestre.
He said the college is also searching for a permanent location for dedicated student housing so it can expand enrollment at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Since opening in 2012, approximately 80 to 100 students per semester have been residing in the Quality Inn Hotel across the street from the Culinary Institute.
“For the near future the Foundation will work with our tenants and use revenue to complete property maintenance and improvements, and of course to support student scholarships – our core mission,” said NCCC Foundation Director Deborah Brewer said.
In 2010, Cordish Companies President David Cordish donated the Niagara Falls Rainbow Mall to the NCCC Foundation, described by Klyczek as the largest donation in the foundation's history and possibly the largest ever given to a SUNY community college.
At that time, the foundation transferred the property to the college and the college retained about a third of the mall in order to build the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The remaining two-thirds was given to the City of Niagara Falls for further development, and is now the site of Uniland Development’s proposed Wonder Falls Resort.