Tax breaks sought for Tuscarora Club project

James Neiss/staff photographer The current owner of the Tuscarora Club in Lockport is seeking tax breaks from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency as part of an effort to reopen the site as a banquet facility and boutique hotel. 

WHEATFIELD – Officials at the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency may give a decade-long tax break to the company that plans to redevelop a storied City of Lockport property.

The IDA's Board of Directors is expected to vote next month on whether to award a $316,605 abatement package to the developer that purchased the former Tuscarora Club after approving a preliminary authorization on Wednesday.

The structure was built in the mid-1800's  andfirst served as an inn. Decades later, it was purchased by the the Lockport Wheelmen Club as was renamed the "Tuscarora Club." 

The IDA application was submitted by Village of Gasport businessman Dominick Ciliberto earlier this summer. Ciliberto bought the 15,000-square-foot property, located at 128 Walnut St., from the City of Lockport for $230,000 late last year.

Ciliberto's redevelopment plans include converting the space into a banquet facility and 18-room boutique hotel. The application indicates his company will create four full-time-equivalent jobs within three years of opening. 

Shortly after the purchase, the Greater Lockport Development Corp. has agreed to assist the development with a $500,000 Restore NY grant.

“Dominick has a great vision for the property and we are looking forward to working with him to help him see it through,” GLDC President/CEO Brian Smith said at the time.

In a separate matter, the IDA decided to increase a grant award to the Aquarium of Niagara by $97,000. 

After contractors at the aquarium, located at 701 Whirlpool St., discovered certain building structures were degraded beyond expectations, the project's anticipated cost grew from $1.37 million to $1.85 million. 

The aquarium is in the process of constructing an "interactive habitat" dubbed the "Shark and Ray Bay." The exhibit will be composed of a tropical-themed pool where visitors can touch and closely observe stingrays, sharks and a collection of marine invertebrates.

"The exhibit, which is fully handicap accessible, will be surrounded by shallow edges and viewing windows to provide visitors a close encounter with these gentle and graceful animals," IDA documents noted. 

The application indicates three new full-time jobs will be created as part of the project, which is scheduled for completion in May of next year. 

Recommended for you