NIAGARA FALLS, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Niagara Falls on Tuesday, to announce that the state has settled on a preferred developer to restore and operate the historic Hotel Niagara.

Ed Riley, with Brine Wells Development, will take on the 42 million dollar project. Riley is the owner of Hotel Syracuse, which he recently restored.

"Our goal is to make Niagara Falls stronger and more beautiful than it ever has been," Cuomo said.

Hotel Niagara is an iconic piece of the Cataract City skyline, hosted its last guests a decade ago.

Since then it has become an abandoned eyesore, occupying a prime piece of real estate close to the Falls along Rainbow Boulevard, as a series of potential developers have come and gone without being able to breathe new life into the landmark structure.

Last year the state took ownership of the building, in hopes of luring a developer and provide them assistance to turn the place around once and for all.

Built in 1924, the Hotel Niagara was once the grandest of places to stay in Niagara Falls, and in its heyday provided lodging for such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.

In its request for proposals, the state asked potential developers to come up with a mixed use plan for hotel space, along with a restaurant, retail shops, and an entertainment attraction.