Updated 2:35 p.m.
NIAGARA FALLS - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and developer Mark Hamister signed a ceremonial agreement this morning for the $25.3 million hotel, apartment and retail project downtown.
Cuomo got personally involved in the proposed development two weeks ago after a political mailer almost made Hamister walk away.
"Mr. Hamister, I can't tell you how grateful we are that you gave us the benefit of the doubt," Cuomo said during an event in the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.
Listen to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster's introduction of Cuomo and the governor's remarks:
Hamister said he expects to break ground on the project sometime in the second half of 2014.
While he said he has yet to apply for a franchise agreement for the hotel, Hamister said the hotel will likely be either a Hilton, Marriott or Intercontinental.
"I suppose you can read into my order of things in that response," he said.
taggedAlbany | business | downtown | Paul Dyster