City of Niagara hopes to sell revitalized strip mall

Fri, January 6, 2023 11:00 a.m.

By Timothy Chipp

Contributing author

City of Niagara officials are hoping to breathe new life into a long-vacant property on Military Road.

The former strip mall property at 4435-4445 Military Road will go up for auction, potentially ending a years-long struggle for city leaders.

“It’s been a long process,” Supervisor Lee Wallace said after a brief city board business session on Wednesday. “There was a huge tax lien on the building. The county couldn’t convince anyone to buy it, so they sold it to us.

In an effort to prepare the property for future development along the city’s Main Street, Niagara officials have undertaken a lengthy cleanup, according to city attorney Michael Risman.

With the effort finally complete before Thanksgiving, the city learned it would be recognized with a certificate of completion by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfields Cleanup Program.

While it’s a developer-marketable title on its own, Risman said the program also comes with a small financial boost for anyone looking to purchase and turn the space into a business. operating.

“Because he went through the program…it allows anyone who builds on it to get a tax credit,” Risman told the five-member council. “It’s basically a 20% tax credit and it’s transferable.”

City councilors are expected to establish a bid window and request for proposals at the city’s regular January meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at City Hall, 7105 Lockport Road.

City councilors are also expected to vote, at the same meeting, on a bill strictly limiting the operation of short-term rental properties, including those found on websites like and

The bill was initially discussed at a working session in November, with a public hearing held on December 13.

During the hearing, a short-term rental landlord spoke out against the law, while no one voiced support. Lou Ann Murawski, who approached the council saying she owned several properties in the city that served as short-term rentals, said her long-term tenants were causing her more problems than the short-term tenants she s addressed.

Wallace, meanwhile, informed Murawski that she was one of the only good owners of such property and that complaints of noise and property damage at such residences had long plagued the city.

“We find these tenants to be a real problem,” Wallace told him in December. “We didn’t take this decision as a knee-jerk reaction.

“Unfortunately, someone like you (is going to be negatively impacted) by the law.”

If the law is approved by a majority of city council members, it likely won’t go into effect for another year, Risman said in proposing the law in November.

Reorganize the city

Besides Wednesday’s business session, officials also approved the reorganization of the city government as part of its annual proceedings.

Notable appointees, including those who continued their service from previous years, included:

√ Planning Committee: Barbara Hathaway, Chair; Dennis Collins; Michel Murawski; John Polka; and Eugene Pucci

√ Zoning Appeal Board: Thomas Cuddahee, Chairman; Guido Virtuoso; Robert McDermott; Jody Wienke; and Richard Halleen.

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