79-81 Canal St. Sale OK'd

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News and the LUSJ reported that the sale of 79-81Canal St was OK'd with some conditions:

The Common Council approved the sale of 79 Canal Street to Hydraulic Race Corp. on a split vote Wednesday.

The motion by Council President Richelle Pasceri approves the city’s direct sale of the partly rehabilitated commercial property to the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride tour operator for $70,000.

Greater Lockport Development Corporation, which supervised remediation and repairs of three buildings on Canal Street and technically is leasing them from the city, will get the money. That’s fair, City Attorney John Ottaviano said, as the agency invested heavily in the properties and is looking for a return on the investment. The money will go into GLDC’s revolving loan fund, from which it provides low-interest loans to start-up and expanding businesses in the city.

Fourth Ward Alderman Andy Chapman and 2nd Ward Alderman Jack Smith voted against the sale.

Chapman said he objects to all of the money going to GLDC after the city also invested tax dollars in the Canal Street properties.

Smith last week said he objected to the city selling property to a business co-owned by someone who has a record of unpaid debts. County clerk’s records show Thomas Callahan, a minority shareholder in Hydraulic Race Corp., owes $2 million to a former business partner in a failed power generation venture....

This is an ideal location for Lockport Caves but it would be nice if some type of year round presence was put in. The block is sparse with buildings and losing any of them for part of the years makes any long term synergy difficult.

Hopefully it also puts on the side burner the small ticket office and bus parking they wanted to but on the property across Gooding Ave next to the canal. Reconfigured the plot could be home to so much more instead of dead land with a underutilized view of the canal.


LoneWolf said...


You mentioned: "the small ticket office and bus parking they wanted to but on the property across Gooding Ave next to the canal."

As far as I have been informed, the building on Canal Street will be the one and only ticket office for Lockport Cave.

And we SHOULD have access to the parking lot(the newly repaved) on Gooding Street as well as parking (if needed) between the Canal Street Building and the Discovery center.

Also, seeing as though GENERALLY people can park on the Pine Street Bridge all day, without issue, I don't really see where additional parking is or would be needed for us.

Bus parking and a "turn about" for buses would be a plus however, even though they can park on the Pine Street bridge which REALLY isn't that bad, but if we get 3-4 or more(school and/or Grand Tours type) bus loads, at the same time as we are doing public tours it does create a sort of "bottleneck" for parking, that I will agree with.

I do have to say though ...looking more at where we are going to be placed in relation to the Locks and Canal, it's a good fit.

Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Sold--or given away to a political ally? Someone who makes large donations to King George?

Anonymous said...

if that's true, i'm sure you'll have no problems finding and posting that infomration

of course it was given away. the whole shebang sucked from day one, you know, the one that started before hrh took office.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Lockport Caves is an excellent fit for that property, but there were so many other proposals that would have been just as good and they had offerred much more money. I always heard Calahan is a very wealthy man, why did they sell it for $70,000? Why is it that our GlDC makes these dumb decisions? Their track record sucks and Richelle again is just a mouth piece for the establishment. One that we as taxpayers don't have much a say in. I say give the money back to the city to use where needed.

MJ said...

The noise is always the loudest when something is not available (like the pause for the NCCC push). Just like the Statler Towers in Buffalo there are always "serious" interested parties popping up when the property is tied up in other negotiations thus protecting them from having to "put up".

If there were honest proposals ready to go, I'd like to know what concept they were offering and how much they offered. Maybe then we could discuss the virtues of each. Until them I'm OK with this.

As for the price, these are building shells that still need everything inside. When it's all said and done the investment will probably be 2-3 times the purchase price. If th ecity was selling a complete building they could of fetched more.

Anonymous said...

unless someone comes to the table with money in hand, interest (in this case) has no value; live in lockport long enough and you'll grow weary of investors with empty promises

money talks and bull droppings walk

Anonymous said...

Well here are two individuals for example: Kathy O'Keefe and Jack Martin. Both had very thought out business plans and money available- both were treated like s--t!

MJ said...

Jack Martin's business plan was my favorite. It would have helped solidify Lockport as the center of the Niagara Wine Trial (which for some reason the city had no interestin doing) helped other local businesses (the wineries and local restuarants) and I feel, was an awesome concept to have a final stop on the trail where you could get the wines you tasted along the way. Nothing worse than debating to buy something at the winery you are at or wait until you try some other locations.

Though he also was looking for a greenway grant, etc to help buildout the space. Nobody is looking to develop all on their dime. I don't blame them with the way the system is set up.

I continue to wish he would take over the eyesore across the street from him and bring the concept back. He'd have my $$$.

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