USA Niagara Development Corp. released information Monday showing some of the other firms that made proposals for developing a prime parcel in downtown Niagara Falls.
Aside from the Hamister Group, which was chosen as the preferred developer for 310 Rainbow Blvd. in February 2012, Uniland Development, DHD Ventures, Eastern Hospitality Advisors and LMK Realty Associates also submitted proposals.
The Hamister Group's proposal is for a five-story, approximately 119,000-square-foot building with a 114-room hotel, preliminarily anticipated to be a Hilton Garden Inn that would include a 10,000 square foot ballroom facility. There would also be 24 market-rate apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space on Old Falls Street.
Two other bids were submitted, but they were deemed "non-responsive" by the agency.
The Niagara Falls City Council on Monday put off a decision on the sale of the land at 310 Rainbow for the project.
The five firms were interviewed by a five-person committee: Christopher Schoepflin, president and CEO of USA Niagara; Paul Tronolone, senior planner at USA Niagara; Steve Gawlik, attorney for Empire State Development; Craig Johnson, corporation counsel for the city of Niagara Falls; and Thomas J. DeSantis, the city's senior planner.
The proposals were "largely all hotel driven," and "nothing outside of a hotel" was proposed. There was no destination restaurant or larger-scale hotel proposed, Schoepflin said. There were "some discrepancies" with regard to the scale of the hotel, he said.
"We were looking for a maximization of a number of uses," Schoepflin said.
Of all the proposals, the minimum investment proposed was "probably $15 million," he said.
The highest amount offered specifically for the land was $216,000, which is the assessed value of the land.
The firms received scores based on the interviews and how their proposals "were determined to best achieve the objectives as stated in the RFP." The Hamister Group was given a score of 529; Uniland 470; DHD 448; Eastern Hospitality 410; and LMK 233.
Schoepflin said USA Niagara followed up with all of the firms except for LMK Realty, which was led by Dominick Massaro, who passed away in June 2012.
Several of the firms could do other projects in Niagara Falls, Schoepflin said.
"We feel we could cultivate their interest in the city," he said.
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