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Fort Erie Economic Development & Tourism Services

1 Municipal Centre Drive
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Press Release

Niagara Fall Review

$5-million commercial project set for Fort Erie.

By Jennifer Pellegrini (Niagara Falls Review).
September 19, 2008

Ground Breaking Photo

Jim Thibert, general manager of the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corp., Mayor Doug Martin, developer David Kompson and Fort Erie Councillor Bob Steckley, who represents Crescent Park, take part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the old Ryan's Bar on Garrison Road near Pettit Road, Thursday morning.

A derelict patch of land in Fort Erie is about to get a $5-million facelift.

Town officials and developer David Kompson announced plans for a new retail development on Garrison Road, across from Kompson’s Park Plaza development Thursday.

The 1267 Garrison Road location is the site of the former Ryan’s Bar, which sat vacant and in disrepair for several years after closing in the late 1990’s.

“What we’re going to do here is build two buildings on the site, with two somewhat distinct building environments,” Kompson said of his 26,400-square-foot plan.

“The first will be a retail building. I had hoped to have the building already built, but the plans is to have it built by year’s end. The other building (which will provide office space) will be built in 2009.

He said the buildings will be separated by a “beautiful courtyard with some kind of water feature” so people in both buildings can look out and see a park-like setting rather than more bricks and mortar.

Jim Thibert, general manager of the Economic Development & Tourism Corp., said although it’s not an industrial development which many people are anxious to see, the new plaza is good news for the community.

“It’s industrial developments people talk about, but it’s retail people see,” he said.

“We see things happening as residents, but developers have to be ahead of the curve. We’ve heard a lot in the past few weeks about job losses in Niagara, but what we really have to do is pay attention to what’s happening in Fort Erie. And what’s happening here today is good news”.

Thibert emphasized the plaza, which will have 13,200 square feet for each building, will allow new businesses to come to town and let ones already here expand in a new location. “This will create jobs,” he said.

No clients have committed to moving into the plaza, although Kompson said he is working with several retailers to bring new business to town.

“It’s taken us five years to bring in quality clients to Park Plaza,” Kompson said. “I have had discussions with several businesses, but nothing has been inked right now”.