“TM Montante Begins $5 Million 616 Niagara Project”

TM Montante Development announced last week that construction has started on its $5 million mixed used development project, 616 Niagara, at the corner of 7th and Niagara streets in the City of Niagara Falls.

Montante Construction is based on Kenmore Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda.

The company said the project includes an adaptive reuse of all existing structures on the site, as well as the construction of a new glass atrium, and will result in a mixed-use development with commercial space and a corner café on the ground floor of the building, as well as 17 market rate residential units on upper floors.

“The 616 Niagara project will represent the rebirth of three beautiful historic buildings at the corner of 7th and Niagara streets, and ensure that they have new life for generations to come,” said Chris Campos, president of TM Montante.

“Vacant structures will become vibrant again, housing new residents and workers that will call downtown Niagara Falls their home and their place of work. And the connection point between John Daly Boulevard and Niagara Street, a gateway to downtown Niagara Falls, will be reinvigorated, extending the energy that has been building on 3rd Street eastward all the way to 7th Street.”

The building will be anchored by the Niagara Global Tourism Institute, an affiliate of Niagara University, which will relocate its headquarters to the ground floor commercial space and open TReC, the first co-working and incubator facility in Niagara Falls.

“TReC by NGTI serves as a prime example of Niagara University’s commitment to economic and social progress in Niagara Falls,” said NGTI Executive Director Patrick Whelan. “But NU will benefit as well through experiential learning opportunities at a new ‘second home’ in the developing downtown corridor. Students will have access to real-world career experiences, while faculty can take advantage of a dynamic classroom. TReC will also serve as a link between the local community and entrepreneurial opportunities in Niagara Falls.”

The 616 Niagara project is being supported by a $750,000 grant from the WNY Regional Economic Development Capital Fund, as well as a $100,000 grant from National Grid’s Main Street Revitalization Program.

The Niagara Global Tourism Institute also received a $176,000 grant from the Niagara Falls Tourism Target Zone Program, which is administered through the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

“I am very pleased for work to commence at 616 Niagara St.,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. “This project has the potential to serve as a catalyst for innovation and downtown living in Niagara Falls. 616 Niagara St. will not only serve as home to 17 new, market-rate apartments, it will also house Niagara University’s Global Tourism Institute and business incubator, TReC.

“The synergy of new first-class residential options and the expansion of the innovation economy in our downtown is a tremendous win for our city.”

“We have seen investment into multipurpose units become a massive success in growing communities across New York State,” said state Sen. Robert Ortt. “While much of the recent economic development concentration has been on capitalizing off visitors who come to see the natural wonder in our backyard, this new investment focuses on rejuvenating downtown Niagara Falls, creating an area that can be utilized by both local residents and visitors alike.”

According to Empire State Development, 616 Niagara continues USA Niagara’s strategic investments in downtown Niagara Falls, which include new hotel and restaurant properties; redevelopment of Third Street; and the Buffalo Billion II Strategic Land Acquisition program to develop key properties within a city block of Niagara Falls State Park, which have been vacant, partially vacant, or underused for up to 30 years.

Investment in this neighborhood will help to rebuild the area as a vibrant and walkable downtown, strengthen the gateway into the city’s tourist district, and further enhance the state investments that have upgraded Niagara Falls State Park and are improving access to the city’s waterfront.

Five Star Bank is providing financing for 616 Niagara and the project is being built by Montante Construction. Other significant contractors include HHL Architects, Preservation Studios, Tredo Engineers, and Advanced Design Group.

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