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Anderson now supports Hamister project

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Sam Hoyt, regional head of Empire State Development, right, announces that Niagara Falls Councilman Robert A. Anderson Jr., left, now supports the $25.3 million development proposal from the Hamister Group.

Updated 1:28 p.m.

NIAGARA FALLS - Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. now supports the Hamister Group's development proposal, giving the $25.3 million project the three votes it needs to move ahead at tonight's City Council meeting.

Anderson joins Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti and Councilman Charles Walker, who have previously announced their support of the Hamister Group's hotel, apartment and retail proposal.

Anderson had been voting with Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian and Councilman Sam Fruscione on the project since the group in early July tabled a proposal to sell the land at 310 Rainbow Blvd. and reach a development agreement with the Hamister Group.

Anderson said his three main concerns were addressed during conversations with Sam Hoyt, regional head of Empire State Development, over the last 72 hours.

Anderson said he's received assurances about issues concerning the hiring of local workers in the construction, a performance bond for the project and whether the city would be on the hook for liens on the property should the project not be completed.

"It makes me feel good to know that now we can pull this item off the table and move forward," Anderson said.

The announcement came during a morning news conference in the Conference & Events Center Niagara Falls.

Listen to the complete news conference:

The Hamister Group issued a short statement after the news conference:

"We appreciate Councilman Anderson's declaration of support and hope it translates into a positive action at the Council meeting this evening," spokeswoman Andrea Colao Czopp said.

I spoke with City Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian on Friday, who indicated he did not believe a vote would happen on the project at tonight's City Council meeting.


Bob Anderson | business | City Council | city government | downtown | Glenn Choolokian
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Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker joined The Buffalo News in 2007, where he has covered communities in Western New York as a beat reporter, multimedia journalist and assistant online editor. A Buffalo native, he began his career in journalism at the Niagara Gazette.

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