NIAGARA FALLS, NY-Developer Mark Hamister says he remains committed to his proposed hotel development deal in Niagara Falls and thinks it could be the start of an economic resurgence for the city. He called Governor Andrew Cuomo "the difference maker."
Hamister told 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing, "if it was not for Governor Cuomo, I don't think this project would be alive today."
The Hamister Group is proposing a $25.3 million dollar mixed-use development, including a hotel, apartments and banquet center.
The Niagara Falls City Council tabled the proposal as one lawmaker questioned the $100,000 price tag for the land and whether or not local workers would be used for the construction project.
A recent political mailer praising Councilman Sam Fruscione for questioning Hamister accused the developer of running a con game on the city of Niagara Falls. Hamister told Channel 2, "the anger was indescribable, all I could think of is what my friends have told me for years, why do you want to do business in Niagara Falls."
Falls Councilman Fruscione Associate Tied to Nasty Mailer
Dyster: Governor Has Reached Out to Hamister
The developer released a statement Friday in response to a flurry of activity surrounding the project, including Governor Cuomo getting personally involved in the talks:
"There is no excuse for the disturbing and reprehensible flyer that was distributed earlier this week on behalf of a Councilmember in Niagara Falls. This form of politics of personal destruction is despicable. It is the poster child of what is wrong with politics today. It sends the wrong message to the private sector, developers and job creators.
I resent the fact that I have been dragged into the politics of this issue when as a private businessman and developer, I have worked hard to maintain a positive and honorable reputation over the past 36 years.
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo became personally involved and is actively working with us to find a positive solution and move towards completion. I thank the Governor for his commitment to economic development and job creation.
I remain committed to this project and to making a significant private investment in the City of Niagara Falls. This is a good project for Niagara Falls, it is a good job creator and it can serve as the beginning of a resurgence of this area of downtown Niagara Falls."