By Ray Spiteri, Niagara Falls Review
City council voted to allow Ralph Terrio, owner of Michael’s Inn, to build two 60-storey hotel towers on River Road. (This is an architectural drawing submitted by the developer)
It will be at least a year before construction begins on a proposed half-billion-dollar luxury resort on River Rd.
Hunter Milborne, a partner in the 60- and 61-storey tower project, said now that the $400- to $500-million development has the blessing of city council, the proponents will immediately begin working out any outstanding concerns. The good news for Milborne and his business partner Ralph Terrio is the concerns appear to be minimal.
“Your lack of objection here, I’m shocked,” Coun. Carolynn Ioannoni told the project team during a public meeting Tuesday. “We’ve seen this movie before and we had a chamber full of people in objection.”
City council unanimously voted Tuesday night to allow two hotel towers where the Niagara Falls Aviary and Michael’s Inn currently sit on either side of Hiram St. facing River Rd. Milborne and Terrio purchased the aviary and inn hotel buildings three months ago.
The towers would be 60 and 61 storeys, making them the tallest two buildings in Niagara Falls and the tallest hotel towers in Canada.
A public meeting was held before the vote. A handful of residents spoke, all of whom support the development.
Shirley Fisher, a former city councillor, went so far as to call it “one of the nicest proposals I’ve seen.”
“It just has that ambiance that none of the other proposals have had,” she said.
Ioannoni credited the developers for how they have reached out to residents during the planning stage.
“This is the developments we saw in the early 2000s when we were sitting around this table and the boom was here,” she said.
“We’ve talked about having a lax in the boom, and hopefully this will be the start of our revitalization again because I have to tell you, it’s a beautiful development.”
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