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Tuscarora Club owner seeks tax break for banquet facility and hotel

The Gasport businessman who bought Lockport's defunct Tuscarora Club last year asked for a tax break Wednesday on his plan to open a banquet facility and an 18-room boutique hotel there.

The board of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency probably will vote Sept. 11 on the request from Dominick L. Ciliberto for a 10-year reduction of property taxes and an exemption from paying sales tax on building materials and furnishings.

The NCIDA staff estimated that the tax breaks would save Ciliberto more than $316,000 on his $2.5 million project, which is projected to create four jobs.

The three-story building at 128 Walnut St. was taken over by the Greater Lockport Development Corp., the City of Lockport's economic development agency, after a restaurant at the site, which had obtained a city loan, failed in 2014 after six years in business.

Ciliberto, the owner of All Metal Works in Gasport, paid the city $230,000 for the 15,000-square-foot building. It was erected in 1911 as a private social club, which lasted until 2006.

The planned banquet facility would be on the first floor and the hotel rooms on the second and third floors.

Cilberto said he would listen "if a restaurant or a group is interest in running it as a full-time restaurant." He said some already have contacted him.

"I believe the rooms are going to generate more revenue and income than the events," he said.

Ciliberto said he intends to install an elevator in the southeast corner of the building, which would reach the roof for some possible outside dining space. Also, a bridal suite will be among the 18 hotel rooms.

"We want to bring the history of Lockport into each individual room," Ciliberto said. He's working with Preservation Studios of Buffalo on the historical aspects.

Asbestos must be removed from the building, but he said the first floor could open as soon as next spring. The hotel will take longer to materialize.

"The second and third floors are basically in need of a total overhaul," Ciliberto said.

Ciliberto's application said he will invest $800,000 of his own money and obtain a $900,000 bank loan.

He takes over a $500,000 state grant the GLDC obtained, $200,000 of which the corporation already spent on building repairs. Ciliberto also is depending on $300,000 in federal tax credits.


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