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Lockport's $15 million wish list includes new marina, rooftop events center

A new marina on the Erie Canal and a rooftop events center on what is now an abandoned building overlooking the canal locks are on a list of  projects the City of Lockport would like the state to fund.

The Lockport wish list totals about $15 million.

Money for the projects would come from the $10 million awarded to the city last year from the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative program.

The state asked for more than $10 million worth of projects so Albany could choose the most worthy ones and allocate the funding this summer, said Brian M. Smith, the city's planning and development director.

The wish list, compiled by a committee of city officials and residents, also includes aid to developers who have acquired or may acquire some major buildings.

Some projects, such as the marina and the events center, would be fully funded by state money, Smith said. The private-sector renovation projects would only be partially covered.

The proposed marina, off West Genesee Street above the locks, would cost $3.6 million. A 12-slip marina plan has been on the drawing board since 2012. The existing Goehle-Widewaters Marina off Market Street below the locks would remain open.

A $2.2 million project beside the locks would include placing an events facility on the roof of the five-story Electric Building and enlarging the Pine Street parking lot and neighboring green space to improve access to the building, owned by Historic Lockport Millrace Inc., Smith said.

The original 19th century locks, called the Flight of Five, would receive $700,000, mostly to restore a stone bridge over the locks. Two of the five locks have been restored to working order, and work on restoring a third lock is underway.

Smith said that if a $1.4 million request is granted, the F&M Building, a six-story former bank at Main and Locust streets, and the adjoining vacant Niagara Frontier Mall would be sold to a developer. The former mall would be converted into covered parking.

The old Post Office, a multi-tenant facility next door, is on the list for $1.2 million in improvements.

Dominick Ciliberto of Gasport, who bought the old Tuscarora Club on Walnut Street in December, would receive $800,000 in state aid toward his $2.2 million renovation project.

The Historic Palace Theatre is requesting $600,000 for a new roof with a solar power array to provide most of its electricity.

Other proposals include streetscape improvements on South Street adjoining Harrison Place and the reconstruction of the intersection of Pine, Gooding and Lock streets.

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