As we mentioned in a previous post, there was a town meeting held last night to discuss amendments to the zoning bylaw that would allow a 59 storey hotel and observation tower along with a 74,000 sqft water park on Falls Avenue.
The amendment to allow the hotel tower passed with a 5-1 vote while the amendment to allow the water park passed in council unanimously.
The local cable company airs City Council meetings live on Monday nights. I was able to capture a few images from the television of the hotel and water park. As these are only screen captures recorded from a low quality source, the images are not superb, but they convey the look of the new developments.
Hotel from front looking up
Hotel and waterpark visible from back
Hotel view from the United States near the Rainbow Bridge
The is the write up from the Niagara Falls Review about the hotel:
New hotel to tower above city
By COREY LAROCQUE
Local News – Tuesday, May 17, 2005 @ 02:00
NIAGARA FALLS – The 59-storey Rainbow Tower Hotel proposed for Falls Avenue would have a view of both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and be visible from Buffalo and Toronto, says architect Michael Kirkland.
“We glory in the size of it,” said Kirkland who designed the building for Canadian Niagara Hotels, saying it will take on “iconic” status.
“This is a building that will affect the skyline of Niagara Falls for a very long time,” Kirkland said during a planning meeting at city hall Monday night.
Council voted 5-1 in favour of the application from Canadian Niagara Hotels to build the $130-million hotel tower between the Sheraton-on-the-Falls and Brock Plaza hotels.
The proposed tower was designed as two buildings in one – a 48-storey, 550-room hotel attached to an observation tower that stands 751 feet tall, Kirkland said. It would have one storey more than the Hilton Niagara hotel expansion the city approved last year, but would be 57 metres taller than that hotel planned for Fallsview Boulevard.
It’s designed so the higher up it goes, its orientation rotates toward the Horseshoe Falls, said Kirkland.
“This building goes up and expresses the sheer gravitational pull of Niagara Falls,” he said.
Because of its design, it will also take different appearances – what Kirkland described as a lantern, torch or silhouette – depending on weather conditions, time of day and the light it reflects.
At 229 metres tall, the Rainbow Tower Hotel will be the city’s tallest building. But because of its placement, it will only cast shadows on property owned by Canadian Niagara Hotels, Kirkland said.
In a recorded vote, aldermen Wayne Campbell, Jim Diodati, Joyce Morocco, Victor Pietrangelo and Selina Volpatti approved the project.
Ald. Carolynn Ioannoni was the sole vote against. She said she wanted to support it, but needed more details on a provision that would have the company contribute to city projects in exchange for exceeding the height limit.
“I think this application is premature. I wanted to support it. There are too many questions,” Ioannoni said.
Acting mayor Vince Kerrio and Ald. Janice Wing did not vote because they declared conflicts of interest.
Canadian Niagara Hotels will pay between $1.3 million and $1.5 million to the city under a provision of the Planning Act that permits developers to exceed the city’s 30-storey height limit in exchange for cash contributions. That payment will be used to pay for public projects to be determined later.
Council also approved a request from Canadian Niagara Hotels to build an estimated $70-million waterpark on its property.
Ald. Victor Pietrangelo said Canadian Niagara’s investment in the hotel, tower and waterpark should send a “strong message” to the provincial government about the long-term vaule of Casino Niagara as a catalyst for development.
“We’re sending a message that we want to retain Casino Niagara. The developer is stepping up to the plate, saying, ‘I am willing to invest in this area if the province is willing to invest in the area,'” Pietrangelo said.
Michael DiCienzo whose company owns Canadian Niagara Hotels said he wants to see Casino Niagara in the area, but both projects make sense for his company on their own merits.
“We are doing what we feel is necessary from a business standpoint to redevelop our site regardless of the casino,” said DiCienzo said.