Rainbow Centre Civic Improvement Project

Rainbow Centre

A design concept for the Rainbow Centre Civic Improvement Project.

About Rainbow Centre Civic Improvement Project

USAN has announced plans for a civic improvement project to redevelop the remaining 200,000 square feet at the former Rainbow Centre Mall. This project will establish greater public access and walkability, create commercial opportunity and also improve parking to support new and existing businesses at and near the site.A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued seeking architectural design and engineering services to repurpose the remaining space into a high-density, mixed-use development with restored pedestrian access through the center of the building and active ground-level uses.

The successful respondent to the new RFP will consider various “civic improvement” items including, but not limited, to recommendations from the 2012 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel Report. These modifications will create up to 200,000 square feet of available space that could be repurposed for uses that would benefit downtown Niagara Falls, including attractions or other entertainment venues or partnerships with the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, such as an expansion of programing.

Project Status

The City of Niagara Falls and USAN have signed a project term sheet which will allow USAN to procure and retain, at its expense, consultants necessary to develop plans and specifications necessary to allow construction of the project.  A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued by USAN seeking architectural design and engineering services.  It was due January 31, 2020.

In March 2020, the USA Niagara Board of Directors approved entering into a contract with Marvel Architects for a Phase I scope of work, which includes the tasks of Project Scoping and Conceptual Design.  Marvel will be responsible for working with USAN, the Culinary Institute, the City of Niagara Falls, Stakeholder Focus Groups, and associated agencies to further expand and define the programming requirements for the Rainbow Centre Mall adaptive reuse, pedestrian access, streetscaping, structured parking, site features, and future retail development assumptions.

Next Step in the Transformation of Downtown Niagara Falls

The property’s strategic location near Old Falls Street between Niagara Falls State Park and the Seneca Niagara Casino makes it an important development that could foster relationships between these areas and future development on adjoining parcels.

The resulting public-private partnerships will be supported by Buffalo Billion funding.