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  #221  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2006, 4:00 PM
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  #222  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2006, 4:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity
I wish I could tell you everything i know. But I can't risk it.

You will hear big announcements soon. Once the deals are inked would be more appropriate.
I can respect your anonymity Realcity, so I wont ask any details. But are you talking about the fire, lasers, and LED for the Festival of Lights or are you talking about actual developments on their property?

There is work being done at the Holiday Inn regarding a kitchen being installed?
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  #223  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2006, 10:59 PM
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New power centre...possibly coming to East St. Catharines

Sorry for the change of topic but I just read this in today's Standard:



Copied from www.stcatharinesstandard.ca web site Friday, November 24, 2006 - © 2006 St. Catharines Standard
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart: The Next Generation coming soon ... maybe

Doug Herod

Friday, November 24, 2006 - 09:00

Herod's Column - Get ready, east St. Catharines.

Big-box bliss is in your future.

As expected, a developer has formally submitted plans to rezone former Ferranti-Packard property to make way for a new power retail centre, bordered by Bunting Road, Dieppe Road and Neilson Avenue,

The anchor tenant would be a huge, next-generation Wal-Mart store (19,350 square metres) with a significant grocery component (4,050 square metres).

By comparison, the existing Wal-Mart store at the nearby Lincoln Mall is 14,500 square metres and the Pen Centre Zehrs grocery store is 5,400 square metres.

In addition to demolishing the old Ferranti-Packard factory, the landscape-altering proposal involves tearing down NG Cash and Carry and TST Overland Express, both of which front on Bunting Road.

The development also calls for eight other new mini- to mid-sized box stores on the 31.8-acre (12.8-hectare) property. The existing Staples store and small adjacent plaza on site will remain. There will be parking space for more than 1,700 cars.

Now before people start polishing up their resumes for Wal-Mart greeter jobs or investing in asphalt, it should be noted St. Catharines East Developments Inc. has some regulatory hurdles to jump before its plans can be realized.

(St. Catharines East Developments Inc. is an arm of Smart!Centres, formerly First Pro Shopping Centres, the gang that brought us the Louth Power Centre on Fourth Avenue.)

First and foremost for the developers is convincing St. Catharines city council to rezone the land in question from industrial to commercial.

The public meeting to deal with the rezoning isn't expected until some time next spring.

However, there is a preliminary public information session set for Jan. 31.

Smart!Centres, which pines for the visibility a QEW service road offers, had sounded out city planners earlier this year about its proposal, and received a guarded response.

Concern was expressed by planners about the city giving up potentially prime industrial land along the QEW, the pressure for change such a huge commercial development might have on other nearby industrial properties and whether it would lead to an oversupply of retail space in the immediate area as well as the rest of the city.

The developer was asked to commission studies that would address these points as well as traffic and servicing questions.

The city only received the reports earlier this month and is still working through them.

However, to no one's surprise, the developer-funded studies support the re-zoning application, arguing there's room for more retail space in the city.

The project would result in the expansion and modernization of the existing Lincoln Mall commercial node, and could help persuade the owners of the eyesore known as the Adelstein scrapyard on Welland Avenue to relocate, the developer's consultants say.

Don't worry about the impact on the downtown, either, they add.

The proposed east St. Catharines development and downtown stores appeal to different consumers.

They also suggest the city is backing a loser if it continues to market the site for renewed industrial activity. There are plenty of more attractive industrial properties elsewhere in Niagara. The city is better off promoting its available industrial land in west St. Catharines.

And the city can't afford to rest on its laurels as the retail and commercial service hub of Niagara.

"In the face of increasing competition within Niagara region arising from proposals in Niagara Falls and elsewhere, it is important that St. Catharines encourage the upgrading and modernization of commercial facilities within the municipality," reads a report from a Markham-based retail consultant.

OK, that's the developer's take.

City planners, councillors and other parties have yet to weigh in.

Expect some wringing of hands from the usual suspects about how we're being big-boxed to death.

And can't we convince Research in Motion to take over the old Ferranti-Packard building?

Somehow, I see Wal-Mart winning out.
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  #224  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2006, 11:40 PM
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I'm surprised the winter festival is still as small as it is. I was hoping that by their 25th anniversary next year it would be a full blown festival with a huge new year's concert, an outdoor ice skating rink, winter carnival, ice sculptures, etc. I think the large companies in the falls need to get behind the festival as from what I believe the organizers are cash strapped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity
That's exactly what needs to be done. A 12 month season. The Falls is getting there, GWL is one example although that doesn't encourage people to leave. Toronto's tourist season is fine in the winter, theatre, shopping, hotel packages. The falls are just as or more impressive to see in the winter IMO.
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  #225  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2006, 5:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agrigentum
Sorry for the change of topic but I just read this in today's Standard:
Thank's for the heads up agrigentum, that would be a huge investment off the QEW and in that location.

Proposed Location Link: Google Earth
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  #226  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2006, 11:45 PM
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http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NAS...=1112101662835

Raising the Falls

Spectator File Photo
Aaron Lichtman, a New York corporate attorney, plans to give the Niagara Falls's crumbling core a $200-million facelift.


Manhattan lawyer has daring revival plan
By David Segal
The Washington Post
NIAGARA FALLS (Nov 28, 2006)
Walk 20 minutes due north of the wax museums and honeymoon motels at the tacky core of this perennial tourist stop and you will find the eight-block stretch that locals call downtown. It looks like any other main street in a death spiral: empty storefronts, cheap rental apartments and a few holdout businesses limping from month to month.

But these blocks will soon be the scene of a nervy experiment in urban revival. The plan is to close most of the downtown, throw a tarp over the buildings and spend more than $200 million on renovations.

A year or so later, the place would reopen, hopefully with marquee retailers and spiffy residences in a setting that might look like a live Norman Rockwell painting.

While the city would underwrite some of it, the plan is largely in the hands of 42-year-old Manhattan lawyer and aspiring development mogul Aaron Lichtman.

He and his investors are putting up most of the money and have already spent more than $20 million to buy about 60 properties, most of them on Queen Street, the heart of downtown. They hope to spend even more.

Lichtman is relatively new at development. He doesn't have any particular attachment to Niagara Falls. But he thinks "Niagara" is an internationally known brand, and if he can lure the locals and just a fraction of the city's roughly 12 million annual visitors, he and his partners will make a fortune.

The response in Niagara Falls has ranged from euphoria to suspicion.

"It's about time someone did this," said James Kerr, co-owner of the Dollar And, a five-and-dime on Queen Street.

Plenty of local politicians, too, think Lichtman has his heart and his wallet in the right place.

"We've heard so many different proposals in the past," said Alderman Wayne Campbell. "Everyone comes with their hands out, looking for money. Aaron is actually spending money."

Others worry that the roughly $36 million Lichtman wants the government to kick in, for infrastructure improvements, will mean a major tax increase.

Then there is this: Lichtman will not disclose the names of his partners. He says he'll share those names with the underwriting bank, and the bank, through due diligence, will provide its imprimatur.

He hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding in the next few months, with renovations to commence soon thereafter. But will they?

"Not one penny will be spent unless we're satisfied with the developer himself," says Doug Darbyson, the city's director of planning and development. "We need to do a full analysis, which we have already begun."
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  #227  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2006, 4:11 AM
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I don't know if you guys know this or not but I will post it anyways. I went to do some Christmas shopping at Niagara Square today and when I went to check out at The Bay, the cashier told me that they were closing on January 13. I was surprised and I had asked why and she said because they were not getting enough business, I asked if she knew anything about a new store moving in, but she didn't know.

I also checked out the new future shop and it is very nice but as someone mentioned before, it is annoying that you have to exit the mall just to enter future shop.
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  #228  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2006, 7:09 AM
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Thanks for the info Tall Steel, I actually just finished posting it > here < it was in the NF Review today. I wonder if they will drop a Designer Depot which is owned by the HBC or something like that in that location. The Bay is to expensive for peoples tastes in todays market.

Last edited by FALLSVIEW; Dec 12, 2006 at 4:58 AM.
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  #229  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FALLSVIEW
I can respect your anonymity Realcity, so I wont ask any details. But are you talking about the fire, lasers, and LED for the Festival of Lights or are you talking about actual developments on their property?

There is work being done at the Holiday Inn regarding a kitchen being installed?
Actual developments on the property. Some planned attractions are huge.

I stayed at the Cascade this weekend and noticed my walkway obstructed by that construction, didn't know it was a kitchen.
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  #230  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:42 PM
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Sorry realcity, but until proven otherwise, it is still 'the Skylon that cried wolf'. There have been so many hotels and developments proposed and announced by the Skylon over the past 15 years, with absolutely nothing to show for it, that even if they do announce something huge, it will most likely go in the scrap heap with all the rest of them.
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  #231  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 11:56 PM
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Well I went back to the Sqaure today and they are moving out really fast at The Bay, there are boxes and mannequins everywhere. I am still dissapointed about there closing, but what Designer Depots could be moving in there?
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  #232  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 1:07 AM
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Actually Drafty had mentioned to me that the Designer Depots are pretty much the same as a Winners, and from what I remember of the one in St.Catharines he is right! I could even see them splitting the store in half adding a separate entrance. They could then entice any number of franchises. ie.. Chapters, Old Navy, Home Outfitters, Michaels and on and on! There are still some large empty stores still available inside the mall though. I would love to see them spruce up the food court with some LCD screens and raise up the middle section of the food court, it's so bland. I think that in order to get people back to the mall you need trendy stores such as Chapters or Old Navy, a Tim Horton's wouldn't hurt either. It would have been nice if they would have attached the movie theatre to the mall, but oh well it's a little late for that. I could go on and on, but I'm just glad that they rejuvenated this mall with the additions they have added.
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  #233  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2006, 9:11 PM
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Well I for one have faith in what Realcity is saying.

Anyway, I'm shocked that the Bay left Niagara Square, first Zellers, now The Bay.. replaced by Designer Depot? How sad. It's the death of the Hudson Bay traditional department stores in Niagara Falls.
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  #234  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 2:36 AM
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This article was posted by rt o891 earlier today on SSC!

Greenbelt restrictions in the Golden Horseshoe Help Create A New Balance Of Development; Niagara Falls Poised For Growth

Lisa Van De Ven, National Post
Published: Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tourists come for a day to take in the falls. Others drive past on their way to the border. But for many, Niagara Falls isn't just a place to bring foreign visitors or to stop for a quick bet at the casinos -- it's a place to live, maybe a place to retire.

In fact, the city's new-home market is booming, as homebuyers move farther out of the Toronto area. And Niagara Falls is taking advantage of that interest. The city, as the mayor will say, is going through a "renaissance," with an emerging part-time recreational ownership market; and there are plans to revitalize the downtown core. In some ways, it's even becoming a bedroom community for Toronto and its western neighbours.

"For many years, it's had negative growth because our young people--after they would graduate from university -- would go off to other cities to practise their professions," says Niagara Falls Mayor Ted Salci. "Now it's reversing, where we're getting people."

All of which has led to a more sophisticated market, with a range of products that includes traditional low-rise affordable homes servicing commuters and locals, as well as more high-end houses for the casino and hotel bigwigs, and even a new residential condominium tower attracting both retirees moving into the region and investors looking to capitalize on its growth.

"It's turning into a real destination, not just for tourists, but we think for people who want to live there and make it their home," says J. Marc Baronette, director of business development for O.R.E. Development Corp.

O.R.E. is developing a 29-storey condominium building on the Niagara River. It's the first condo

tower in Niagara Falls in about 20 years, Mr. Baronette says, and the developer is already seeing a varied group of potential buyers visit the site: about 10% to 15% locals, with others from Toronto, Montreal and as far off as Asia.

"There will be an investor market," he says, "and some retirees or close to retirees, or people who just want to get out of their house and get into a condo lifestyle."

There'll also be a component of recreational buyers, he says, as people look for an alternative to Muskoka or Collingwood.

The part-time segment of the market is growing throughout the Niagara Falls area, says Dan Hendriks, president of the Niagara Home Builders' Association and construction manager for local low-rise developer Mountainview Homes.

"You can get yourself a nice home for half the price of what you pay in Muskoka," Mr. Hendriks says. "That's an interesting market that has sprung up and tourism has obviously played a big part in that, because of golf courses and wineries and so on."

Affordability is what has driven many components of the Niagara Falls market, from the part-time recreational segment to the first-time buyers and retirees. The mayor (himself a former real-estate broker), pegs the average house price at about $180,000 and says it's that affordability

that has made Niagara Falls an alternative to areas nearer Toronto. Retirees can cash in their Toronto home and move to the Niagara area with a nest egg left over, and first-time buyers or young families will make the commute to Hamilton or even Toronto. With land for new development in other areas running out, the Niagara region is becoming more popular.

"Some greenbelt legislation introduced recently prohibited a lot of development in the Lincoln/ Grimsby area, and that is forcing development south of us," says Mr. Salci. "We have thousands of acres of land in terms of potential housing supply. Combine that with our affordability and we're in an ideal position. We're really poised for growth."

The municipality is working to revitalize its downtown, teaming up with developer Historic Niagara, which has committed $100- million to developing the Queen Street downtown district. Council, meanwhile, has committed a $35-million capital budget to improve the streetscapes and other public portions of the project.

It's something that will be seen as a welcome change for some of the city's population, as the residential component begins to balance the tourist component. Currently, says Bruce Barber -- longtime Niagara Falls resident and president of Barber Homes Ltd. --homebuyers are moving out of the old downtown, to live in the outskirts of the city. "It's starting to lose some of its appeal as an old town," he says.

But the new plan, as envisioned, will bring about 1,800 new residential units downtown. The result will be a mixed-use city core that feeds Niagara Falls's residential growth.

"We're taking Niagara Falls to another level," the mayor says.
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  #235  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 5:13 AM
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Niagara Falls May Get Convention Centre

Blogging Post Link: NFD&P

Convention centre dream 'closer than ever'

RAY SPITERI
Local News - Monday, December 11, 2006 Updated @ 5:32:12 PM

The decades-old dream of a convention centre in Niagara Falls is “closer
than ever” to becoming a reality, says Mayor Ted Salci. “We are cautiously optimistic that we will have good news to report shortly” said Salci, adding he is hopeful to hear news "in the next 60 days or so." “We have made our intentions clear to the federal and provincial governments that a convention centre is a desire of ours.” A local committee has been quietly working to get one built. Several meetings have been held with government officials, including one between Salci, committee chairman Dragan Matovic and Prime Minister Stephen Harper this past summer. A site for the Niagara Convention and Civic Centre was identified on Stanley Avenue across from the former Loretto Academy, through a site-selection request for proposals in 2005. Matovic provided documents relating to the project exclusively to The Review, but declined to elaborate on the proposal due to the sensitivity of negotiations. The documents don't identify the other committee members. The proposed development would consist of an 18,000-square-metre facility that could house conventions of up to 10,000 people. The complex would also feature state-of-the-art conference facilities, several banquet rooms, 4,000 parking spaces and a 100,000-square-foot exhibition hall that could be used for trade shows. The cost of the project is estimated at $100 million. The source of the funding would be split with about one-third coming from the federal government, one-third from the province and one-third from private sector stakeholders.

Article Link: Niagara Falls Review
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  #236  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 6:45 PM
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I know this is a development site, so perhaps I'm slightly off-topic, but given that a major redevelopment of Queen Street is planned--what can folks tell me about the history of the now abandoned Rossberg's department store in downtown NF...I understand it has an interesting history.
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  #237  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 3:43 AM
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I don't know if Rosbergs history is anything extraordinary. When Queen St. was THE shopping district in Niagara Falls, Rosbergs was certainly what we would now call an anchor, located at the east end of the street. It was a 4 level department store that carried better quality merchandise. It had one elevator and stairs between the floors. I can actually remember (God I'm old) being on the elevator with my mother and it had an operator who opened and closed the doors by hand and moved a lever to operate the elevator. It was later changed to a push button. It's only real competition was the Eatons on Victoria Ave. near the other end of Queen.
One interesting note about the store is that the owners had a daughter named Barbara, who married a gentleman by the name of Frum, and she went on to become a well known journalist and TV personality.
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  #238  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 2:24 AM
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I went back to Niagara Square to do some more shopping and I asked a lady at the General Store what was moving into The Bay once it closes. I don't know if you heard of this FALLSVIEW but she said that The Mandarin Reasturant taking it's place, I was expecting her to say some Designer Depot store so I was surprised by this. If this is true this should boost some more business for the mall too. Also, I once ate at The Mandarin in St. Catharines and I liked the food there so this one will be closer for me to drive to.
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  #239  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 3:04 PM
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My Mother-in-Law brought us to one in Toronto last year and it was insane, the line up was out the door and down the sidewalk, she said it was always like that. The buffet food was so good and it was enough to feed a small army. The only thing is that the Bay is way to big... even for a Mandarin, they must be planning a couple of things. I had asked the administrative office about a new tenant, but they weren't allowed to disclose any information about that location, thanks for the information Tall Steel.
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  #240  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 2:24 AM
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I can't imagine the Mandarin taking up the ENTIRE area. A Mandarin would be very successful in Niagara - the St. Catharines restaurant is insane. It will be something the locals can go to as it seems there really aren't many restaurants locals can go to without having to deal with the tourist area (parking, waiting, etc.).
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