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County and State announce completion of $20 million River Road Apartment development in NT

Author: Douglas Hoover/Tuesday, July 9, 2019/Categories: General, Legislature

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NORTH TONAWANDA ― State and County officials joined elected leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony today in North Tonawanda to officially announce the completion of the largest private-sector housing project the city has seen to date.

The 600 River Road Apartments, formerly known as River’s Edge Apartments, sits alongside the Niagara River and holds 88 units with the majority offering stunning river views.  Amenities of the complex include a heated 50-foot-long outdoor swimming pool and a clubhouse containing a 24-hour fitness center, a business center and theater.  In addition, a playground, dog park and pickleball courts are also available to tenants.

Among the elected leaders in attendance at today’s ribbon cutting included Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Robert Ortt.

“The River's Edge Apartments are another sign that the North Tonawanda community is growing, vibrant, and open for business," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at today's grand opening. "This significant development was made possible by New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program, which has transformed blighted and vacant properties across the state. Our magnificent waterfront was overlooked for generations, and I am proud to say that with projects like this that era is over.”

“I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of Lt. Governor Hochul, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Niagara County, Rock One Development, and the elected leaders of North Tonawanda in seeing this project to a successful completion,” said Senator Rob Ortt.  “As a native of North Tonawanda, I am proud to witness the incredible development taking place along the waterfront and the extraordinary transformation of my hometown.”

Rock One Development, led by Lucian Visone Jr. and operations manager Tom Celik, received a 10-year property tax break from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency for the project in January 2017. 

The estimated regional and state benefits expected to result from the development are as follows: $397,000 in income tax revenue; $1,862,000 in property tax/PILOT revenue; and $250,000 in sales tax revenue.

The 5.95-acre site was home to Tonawanda Iron Works from 1886 to 1972; AJ Marine Construction, a retailer, operated there from 1988 until 2008. In 2012, Rock One Development bought the land for $340,000.  Heavy metals and hydrocarbons were found in the soil and cleaned up in 2014 under the supervision of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  Following the extensive cleanup, the DEC issued a Certificate of Completion and the site was deemed ready for development.

The apartments in the four-story buildings vary from one to three bedrooms and range from $1,650 to $3,200 a month. The townhouses will offer two-bedroom, 2½-bath units and rents will range from $2,400 to $2,800 per month.

Visone expressed his gratitude to all those involved in the massive undertaking.

“This stunning development is a testament to the hard work and support of everyone who’s been by my side from the beginning, including my operations manager Tom Celik, along with representatives from the State, County, and North Tonawanda,” said Visone. “When you have the unfailing support of the people around you, anything is possible.”

The development will also benefit the local community while fitting directly into the Lumber City Development Corporation’s NT Momentum Master Plan. Those benefits include public access to the Niagara River waterfront, kayak launches, and boating docks.

Niagara County Legislator Rich Andres, who represents North Tonawanda and chairs the Economic Development Committee, expressed his appreciation for Visone and his commitment to invest in the future of North Tonawanda.

“I’m so thrilled that Lou Visone was happy to share our city officials’ vision of a thriving waterfront community. We think this is just the beginning of a renaissance along our riverfront,” said Andres, R-North Tonawanda.

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