NORTH TONAWANDA-County leaders came out in force today to help dedicate the Remington Lofts, the re-christened and re-imagined former Remington Rand site on Sweeney Street.
With officials of the Niagara County Center for Economic Development and the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency looking on, Niagara County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, welcomed Anthony Kissling, founder of the Kissling Interests, LLC, the Buffalo company that is redeveloping the Remington Rand site, to town and praised his efforts.
“You know, I like old buildings,” Ross told Kissling. “But when I look over my shoulder here, I see infrastructure in place. I see sewer, water lines, roads, ingresses and egresses, and I also see a prototype or a model, not only for the great city of North Tonawanda, but for Niagara County.”
Ross noted that a driving factor in the Remington Lofts was an NCIDA-backed tax abatement plan approved in April of 2007. The city of North Tonawanda followed suit later that year with a similar measure.
“It’s a great economic development project,” Ross said to applause. “And certainly, in this county and this state, this is the type of project that we need.” Legislator Andrea McNulty, D-North Tonawanda, vice chairwoman of the Legislature’s Economic Development Committee, said the project will be critical to economic development goals in her hometown.
“The Remington Rand project is key to the revitalization of North Tonawanda,” McNulty said. McNulty also provided insights into the project’s breadth and scope.
“The project will transform the facility into a high-tech business incubator supporting 51 work-live loft spaces on the three upper floors,” McNulty said. “This project, on Sweeney Street, involves the renovation and rehabilitation of approximately 164,000 square feet in a four-story building and of 3,100 square feet in an adjoining brick building.”The Remington Lofts will also feature a gym and a five-star restaurant, set to open later this year.
Legislator Rick Updegrove, R-Lockport, who chairs the Economic Development Committee, said the Remington Lofts represent a substantial economic shot in the arm for North Tonawanda.
“The project represents an investment of over $15 million,” Updegrove said. “And it’s projected to create approximately 125 full-time and 40 part-time jobs within two years.”
Ross offered Kissling his personal best wishes before presenting him a proclamation from the Legislature, flanked by Updegrove, McNulty, and Legislator Pete Smolinski, R-North Tonawanda, at the podium.
“I hope this is so successful, Mr. Kissling, that you’re going to look in other areas of Niagara County, and take what you do here…and carry it over to other areas of the county. We need people like you with vision and the ability to take a chance. And let me tell you, the Niagara County Legislature and the people who work for the Legislature, particularly in Economic Development, will support you 150 percent.”
Kissling shared Ross’s optimism about future Niagara County development by his Erie County-based company.
“It’s going to become a destination,” Kissling said. “People are going to come in to the restaurant, they’re going to drive in to go to the health facilities, and this is going to create a destination area for North Tonawanda right here. And hopefully, when we finish with this, we’ll start a momentum for other development in this area.”