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NCIDA grants tax breaks for two new Niagara Falls hotels

Two new hotels planned for downtown Niagara Falls will go forward with 10-year tax break packages approved Wednesday by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

A planned 120-room hotel on Rainbow Boulevard and a 68-room hotel on Buffalo Avenue become the latest hotel projects to receive incentives.

Plati Niagara, one of the developers to gain a tax break, operates two other hotels in the Falls, including the 110-room Wingate by Wyndham, which is next to the site for the planned new seven-story Cambria hotel at 311 Rainbow Blvd.

Thirty-five jobs will be created at the hotel and in three two-story, two-unit apartment buildings that will also be erected on the 1.5-acre parcel.

Plati Niagara, owned by the Strangio family, will save an estimated $2.5 million on its $17.8 million project thanks to the decade of reduced property taxes, an exemption from paying sales tax on building materials and equipment, and a mortgage recording tax abatement.

So will Merani Hotel Group, whose planned new multi-tenant building at 402-430 Buffalo Ave. in the Falls will include a 68-room Holiday Inn Express.

The five-story, $22.5 million building, across the street from the company's DoubleTree hotel, also will include 36 apartments, with a Tim Hortons and a Circle K convenience store on the ground floor.

In Merani's case, the property tax component of the incentive package may eventually come from the City of Niagara Falls, not the NCIDA.

"We're the safety net in case that doesn't work out," said Susan C. Langdon, NCIDA executive director.

The city property tax break would be better for the company, since it would last 12 years, not 10, and Merani would not have to pay any taxes at all for the first eight years, Langdon said.

The site was once the location of Nabisco Shredded Wheat's Niagara Falls headquarters. In the early 1960s, it became the original location of Niagara County Community College, which some called "Nabisco Tech."

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