Niagara Falls, New York: Advisory Services Panel

Date: September 23−28, 2012

Location: Niagara Falls, New York

Chair: Glenda Hood

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The Assignment

Since the completion of the Culinary Institute, roughly 200,000 square feet in a former mall remains as raw space—fully cleared of its former interior finishes, with all environmental issues remediated or abated. The USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) asked this Advisory Services panel to consider a series of questions to determine appropriate uses for the remainder of the former Rainbow Centre Mall.

Summary of Recommendations

The panel focused on several physical, institutional, and organization improvements that can help USAN and the city move forward with a redevelopment strategy for the Rainbow Centre Mall. These recommendations include the following:

  • Redeveloping and retenanting the mall, using one or a combination of three design scenarios outlined in this report;
  • Understanding and matching the current market potential and psychographic profile of the Niagara Falls area (including Canada) for the repurposed space;
  • Initiating redevelopment and retenanting for key locations around the mall site on Old Falls Street;
  • Improving coordination among state and local agencies;
  • Undertaking short-term actions, such as improved facades, better wayfinding, recladding of the parking ramp, enforcement of signage controls, and establishment of an ambassador program; and
  • Implementing a request for qualifications (RFQ) process.
  • The remainder of this report elaborates on these recommendations.

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