LOCKPORT -- Developer David L. Ulrich today continued making his pitch for Niagara County Community College to locate its planned culinary institute on Canal Street.
Ulrich called a press conference for late this morning to formally announce his attempt to lure NCCC's project, which has been planned for several sites, most recently the former Rainbow Centre mall in Niagara Falls.
Locating the culinary institute on the Canal Street block would be a "combination of two good ideas," he said, the college's institute and Lockport's refurbished block on the Erie Canal.
View Canal Street - Lockport in a larger map
7:49 p.m.: Here's the full audio of Ulrich's comments from today's event:
1:52 p.m.: Ulrich called the Canal Street block a "premiere venue" with historical appeal that would give the planned culinary institute a "unique identity."
Ulrich claims his proposal would save the college $5 million in construction fees, since there are already buildings on Canal Street.
He also said the Lockport site provides the opportunity for more of a "culinary campus" than a former mall site does.
Part of Ulrich's proposal calls for parking to be available in a city parking structure, with the city's shuttered ramp at Main and Pine streets either being rebuilt or refurbished.
The cost for the parking ramp project is about $5 million, and the city currently has no funding lined up to pay for it, said Mayor Michael W. Tucker.
The college has sent a representative to look at the Canal Street site, Ulrich said, and he hopes to set up a meeting to discuss the proposal with college officials.
The uniqueness of the site -- located adjacent to the Erie Canal in downtown Lockport -- would be a draw to the student population, according to Ulrich. That population is generally younger and would have a greater interest in a site with a unique identity, he said.
The Lockport site could be ready for the culinary institute in the fall of 2011, Ulrich claims, though Tucker said a new parking ramp could take from a year to 15 months to complete once the plans are finalized.
City officials are about to begin developing a budget for next year, Tucker said.
12:44 p.m.: Here's my story from last month when college officials revealed they received a letter from Ulrich touting the Lockport site.
Here's a previous post where you can see Ulrich's renderings of the project and audio clips from college officials.
Also, read Ulrich's letter to college President James Klyczek.
Check back later for more from today's press conference.
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