Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
AUGUST 03 - AUGUST 11, 2015

Dyster Fumbles Attempt to Defend Hamister Hotel Deal in TV Interview

By Mike Hudson

AUGUST 03, 2015

Mayor Paul Dyster and USA Niagara - both under the control of Gov. Andrew Cuomo - decided to gift the single most valuable undeveloped parcel of land in Niagara Falls, 300 feet from the Niagara Falls State Park - with an estimated value in excess of $1.5 million - to Mark Hamister - a large campaign contributor of the governor - for $100,000 to build - not an attraction - so desperately needed - not even an upscale hotel - as promised - but a mid-scale Hyatt Place.
Talk about under-use! And for the cherry on the top of the insane sundae, the taxpayers are paying Hamister millions to build his low end hotel.
That's New York State kiddies and Niagara Falls under Mayor Paul Dyster.


Following a blistering five-part series on Niagara Falls, WGRZ Channel 2 News Tuesday unleashed a blistering report on the moribund Hamister hotel deal here.

Back in 2013, Dyster called the hotel project “transformational,” predicting that it would be the “tipping point” that would once and forever serve to revitalize the city’s tourist district.

Hamister told city officials and the people of Niagara Falls that his hotel would be an upscale hotel that would combine upscale suites with permanent apartments, with a first floor dedicated to high end retail and other amenities.

Dyster gifted Hamister with a choice downtown property valued at $1.5 million for a token payment of $100,000. When the deal was announced in 2013, Dyster and Hamister confidently announced that ground would be broken the following spring.

Since that time, three hotels have gone up in Niagara Falls, none of them built by Hamister.

No one from the Hamister organization would return Channel 2’s calls. But Dyster took the bait. With the successful One Niagara Building serving as the backdrop, the mayor shifted nervously on his feet as reporter Kelly Dudzik asked him some very pointed questions.

“Why hasn’t ground been broken yet here?” Dudzik queried.

Dyster haltingly blamed a nuisance lawsuit filed by a leaseholder at the property that was settled last week for a measly $45,000.

Far more to the point is the fact that Hamister doesn’t seem to have the money to build the project he originally proposed. Last year, he announced that his hotel wouldn’t be a Hilton at all, but a budget level Hyatt. The upscale retail shops were erased from artists renderings, the luxury apartments were eliminated and the number of full time jobs Hamister predicted dropped from 200 to fewer than 20.

Hat in hand, he went begging to the county Industrial Development Agency for a tax break package on top of what he had already received from the city and state.

The spring of 2014 came and went, and then the spring of 2015.

Pointing to the hotels that have been built from the ground up since Hamister and Dyster told the people that the deal needed to be fast tracked in 2013, Dudzik asked a sensible question.

“Do you think it’s fair that Hamister gets all the tax breaks and help from the state when these other companies… have been able to get hotels open and this is still just a parking lot?”

“(A)t the time Hamister was trying to move forward with this project, it would have been the first mixed use development here in downtown Niagara Falls since urban renewal,” Dyster stammered.

Widely regarded as the biggest development disaster in the city’s history, urban renewal saw the entire historic tourist district torn down and replaced with large vacant plazas and some of the most grotesque examples of modernist architecture to be seen this side of the former Soviet Union.

The Hamister hotel deal, pushed through with the help of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who actually intervened in the 2013 city Council race here, was and remains indefensible.

Two years on, it is good to see that some are finally starting to notice.







Cricket Now Proceeding Apace in City Dyster Cuts Ribbon and Plays an Inning of the Grand Sport of the Imperial British Raj he Brought to the Falls
Buffalo Niagara Cricket Club More of Buffalo than Niagara
Questions Somebody Should Ask the Mayor About his Cricket Field?
It’s a Mystery How the Dyster Administration Gets Away With it Riddle us This, Mayor Dyster
From Planned Parenthood, to “Sexy” Actors, Grandinetti’s Facebook Shows Councilwoman Driven
Grandinetti Gets Dyster Order to Cool Facebook Activity Till After Primary
Chilton Avenue a Bit Safer Today As Pescrillo’s Financial Woes Worsen
New PEF Leaders Sworn In, Commit to Fair Contract and Strengthening the Union
County Cited for Eight Violations in Shaw Bldg. Asbestos Case
Niagara Frontier Loses Out on Legal Pot In the Same Way it Loses Out on Everything
Dyster Fumbles Attempt to Defend Hamister Hotel Deal in TV Interview
Dyster Has the Numbers do the Residents Have the Will?
The Niagara Falls Reporter’s Top 20 Reasons Why Niagara Falls is Not Gaining Ground
Dyster Waterfront Record Deplorable, Will Cause Lasting Damage to City
Only in NT: Canal Fest Parking and Other Recommendations
Ceretto Makes Headlines for Spending $11 more Than Assembly Competition
ECC Facing Second Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit
Red Cross Needs Niagara Blood Donors
Niagara Catholic Welcomes New Administrators
More Roads Added to the Paving List
A Message From Carl Paladino The Clock
Sen. Schumer, Comedian Amy Schumer Call for (Even) More Federal Control of State Gun Laws
The Doctor's Son Can
Memorial to Expand Primary Care Services, Open New Medical Office on Military Road
Gunfight, Bank Robbery, Kidnapping, What’s Next? - Part 2
David Nail to Perform FREE (with gate admission) at the Erie County Fair
City Hall Jokes

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina