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Buffalo company wins incentives for revitalizing Niagara Falls buildings

Two nearly vacant buildings in downtown Niagara Falls, totaling 27,000 square feet, are to be revived by a Buffalo company that specializes in managing apartments.

SJI Main LLC, which bought the three-story buildings at Third and Main streets earlier this year, was approved Wednesday for a Niagara County Industrial Development Agency incentive package that would save the company an estimated $63,680 on its $3 million project.

The company intends to create 42 apartments and six street-level commercial spaces in the structures, co-owner Pundit Tandon said. A dental office, the only current tenant, will remain in place.

The buildings are more than 80 years old. Tandon acknowledged they lack sufficient parking for his plans – only 16 spaces are on the site – but he said he hopes to reach an agreement with the state's USA Niagara Development Corp. to turn two nearby state-owned parcels into parking lots.

The state agency acquired the lots from Tuscarora Indian businessman Joseph M. "Smokin' Joe" Anderson in March.

As for tenants, Tandon said he wants something tourist-oriented, as well as some food. He said he's approached Spot Coffee, Frankie's Donuts and Panera Bread about possibly signing on.

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