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FORT ERIE, Ont. – The developer of a controversial beachfront condominium tower has abandoned the project, the Town of Fort Erie government announced Tuesday.

The Molinaro Group of Burlington, Ont., through its attorneys, informed the town that it is terminating its agreement with the town to build the proposed Crystal Beach Gateway condominiums.

The developer had until Tuesday to pull out of the deal, a public-private partnership with the town, and did not provide an explanation for its decision, Richard F. Brady, the town’s interim chief administrative officer, said in a statement.

The Bay Beach project dates to 2001, when the town purchased a four-acre parcel, and tore down a group of rundown cottages located there, with the intention of spurring growth and development in the Crystal Beach neighborhood.

The development ran into fierce opposition from neighbors who worried the 12-story tower, with 87 upscale units, would not fit in with the town’s ambience.

Critics filed civil lawsuits to try to block the project, but the developer and the town successfully fended off each one.

The developer had promised $3.45 million (Canadian) in amenities – such as new washrooms, a beachfront promenade and community pavilion – and town officials said Tuesday that those amenities will not be built, either.

The town council will meet in the new year to explore its options for the parcel.

On Tuesday the developer still had a glowing description of the project, including an attractive artist’s rendering of the condo tower, on its website, along with a pitch to encourage people to register for this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for unparalleled lakeside living.”

The Molinaro Group did not respond to a request to comment on Tuesday afternoon.

email: swatson@buffnews.com