Massive Commercial and Residential Development Approved for Victoria Avenue Area in Niagara Falls

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A massive proposal for two towers for commercial and residential use for Victoria Avenue will be “nothing short of spectacular”, said the lawyer representing the developer.

“I can only characterize it as a world-class twin-tower building, befitting a world-class destination,” Rocky Vacca told Niagara Falls City Council at a town hall meeting on the proposed development Tuesday night. .

“It is, bar none, a game changer for the Victoria Avenue/Clifton Hill area.”

The Board (all except Councilor Vince Kerrio, who did not participate in the discussion or vote due to a conflict of interest) approved Fugiel International Group Inc.’s request to amend the Official Plan and Bylaws zoning to exceed the 30-story limit for a 35-story Hotel and 36-story apartments and street dwellings between Victoria and Ellen Avenues at Walnut Street.

Approval was subject to a parking rate of 1.25 parking spaces per unit (the developer requested 1.02) and other regulations and conditions.

The 35- and 36-story towers are offered on a six-story podium.

The 35-story tower along Victoria Avenue will contain 404 hotel rooms, while the 36-story tower along Ellen Avenue will contain 462 mixed-use condominium and podium suites. There will also be seven townhouses at street level along Ellen Avenue.

The developer proposed six levels of parking above ground level and one level underground, with retail at ground level along Victoria Avenue.

The land in question is in one of several areas of the city where “some of the tallest buildings are being constructed and planned,” said Evan Sugden, principal planner at Bousfields Inc., the applicants’ planning consultants.

“The intention being to create an internationally recognizable skyline,” he said, adding that there will be frontages along Victoria, Walnut and Ellen.

“We provide an articulated building design, a podium with an appropriate tower separation of more than 25 meters. We have also provided a unique set of tower orientation so that there is an adequate view of the falls and the skyline from almost every balcony.

Com. Lori Lococo said while the city has heard concerns from residents about the impact of the development on the surrounding residential neighborhood, the site in question is zoned tourist commercial.

“He’s zoned for this development as much as a lot of people don’t want him there,” she said.

“I believe there will be traffic problems, putting so many people in this area where there are already traffic problems.

“I understand residents’ concerns, but I cannot (vote to) deny this request as it is appropriate, and I support parking at 1:25 a.m..”

In an interview, Mayor Jim Diodati said the development features “beautiful, innovative designs.”

“It will create a lot of housing for people. It’s a beautiful, iconic building that will add to our skyline, and it will also add more hotel rooms because I truly believe that if the last three weekends are any indication of pent-up demand for Niagara Falls, I think We’re going to have a busy summer as we recover from two devastating seasons.

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