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Canadian firm wants to demolish Falls building to make way for student housing

Penn Terra Group of St. Catharines, Ont., plans to demolish a downtown Niagara Falls building to erect a four-story structure containing 36 student housing units.

The site is the Cannon Block at Main and Third streets, according to Thomas DeSantis, the city's senior planner.

The site includes the former office of Dr. Pravin V. Mehta, whose fraudulent opiate prescriptions resulted in a two-year federal prison sentence in January 2016.

City Business Development director Anthony Vilardo said if the State Historic Preservation Office won't allow the demolition, Mehta's former three-story office can be incorporated into the new development.

The City Council will vote Wednesday on a preferred developer agreement with Penn Terra. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing Dec. 19 on rezoning the block.

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