City Talks Plans for Riverfront Condominiums
The City of Tonawanda wants to see a housing development on a large parcel of land near the Niagara River waterfront. The city is looking for a private developer to step in.
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TONAWANDA, NY - David Mallam has lived on Niagara Shore Drive for more than two decades. For years he watched new development sprout up around his river-front home.
"This place was bustling. There are a lot of condos, all the inside condos were put up. All the builders were scrambling to really make this a beautiful place," Mallam said.
But he said he believes high taxes began driving projects away.
"Everything stopped and it's too bad because it's a great area and a nice place to live," he said.
The City of Tonawanda is trying to jump start development in the area.
City leaders are asking for proposals to create upscale condominiums across the street from Mallam's house.
"What we're looking for is somebody that's qualified to do the job and then whatever that cost is, they're the ones that are going to have to market it and sell it," City of Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi said.
The city's water filtration plant was at the site until the structure was knocked down several years ago.
Pilozzi said the lot was appraised at $750,000.
"You have frontage on the road already so the infrastructure's already there. So this is rather easy compared to other projects," he said.
He said the city will not accept any plans for commercial development and is looking for a 15-unit building that would potentially be about 5 stories.
"It makes for a very interesting project. I think it could add substantially to the tax rolls of the City of Tonawanda and help us stabilize taxes," he said.
Mallam said he's in favor of the project as long as it's done right.
"I think the more development you get, the better the neighborhood is and I think the more development there is the more people you have, the better the tax base is," he said.
Pilozzi said it's too early in the process to speculate on when construction would begin.