|A Baltimore developer is donating his rights to the Rainbow Centre mall for Niagara County Community College's culinary institute, a bequest that would bring back life to the long-shuttered mall and could serve as a catalyst for more Niagara Falls development.
The donation from David S. Cordish, who owns a long-term lease on the mall, came as a surprise on Saturday, and is estimated to be worth millions -- easily the largest gift the college has received in its 23-year history.
"In the opinion of experts with whom we have consulted, this is likely the most valuable property in Niagara Falls and perhaps even the entire Western New York area," said NCCC President James P. Klyczek. "The proximity of the land to the Niagara Falls State Park, the Falls and the Rainbow Bridge to Canada is unequalled."
Cordish also is donating a one-acre parcel of land at the corner of Rainbow Boulevard and Old Falls Street to the college's foundation, the school's fundraising arm.
The announcement about Cordish's plan was made Saturday night during the NCCC foundation's annual scholarship gala at the campus in Sanborn.
"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of David Cordish and the Cordish Group in the awarding of the Rainbow Centre and the neighboring lot to the NCCC Foundation," said Foundation Chairperson Deborah Brewer.