215 Park Avenue South, 1901
New York, NY 10003
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Downtown Niagara Falls Development Strategy

Niagara Falls, NY


Mixed-Use Development Strategy


USA Niagara
Empire State Development


Economic Analysis:
Forsyth Street Advisors

Cost Estimating:
Trophy Point Construction
Services & Consulting

Market Analysis:

Public Engagement:
Highland Planning


16.75 Acres


Development Strategy
Completed June 2021

In 2020, PAU was engaged by USA Niagara, a subsidiary of Empire State Development (New York State’s economic development entity), to establish a development strategy for 25 parcels, grouped into six clusters, that the State had recently acquired in the heart of Downtown Niagara Falls. In happy alignment with PAU’s ethos of working on projects from their earliest planning though to architectural development, USA Niagara subsequently selected PAU through a competitive RFP process to design the first targeted, state-funded investments that our initial plan recommended.

In the planning phase, our recommendations were founded in market analysis and economic research and built upon numerous previous studies, delivering both short-term site strategies and a long-term plan for the sites, to be pursued under more favorable economic conditions at a future date. As part of the framework’s short-term solutions to activate this region, PAU incorporated a Heritage Path, which will highlight key physical landmarks throughout the city that help visitors and locals rediscover the extraordinary history of the community. The checkpoints along the Heritage Path will double as outdoor space for programs that provide more opportunities for year-round activities. Not only will the Heritage Path connect historical landmarks with the state park, but it will allow visitors to navigate Downtown Niagara Falls in a 30-minute loop. The Heritage Path will remain as the long-term projects are phased in which may include new community, residential, hotel, retail, and office uses. By honoring the region’s land and staying true to the area’s rich history, the strategy leverages what’s best about Niagara, bringing it to life through unique design solutions that tap into the city’s heritage. In creating an activated downtown, Niagara hopes to reverse rustbelt demographic trends, retaining its existing population while attracting new residents through programming that highlights the city’s beautiful landscape and its history. Downtown Niagara Falls has the chance to be a leader among its peers, defining the future of the small, post-industrial American City.