Light Up the Grain Elevators?

March 12, 2012 Updated Mar 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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March 12, 2012 Updated Mar 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM EDT


During their meeting on Monday, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation not only got a new interim director, but was also busy with new proposals regarding the future of Buffalo's waterfront. Among the biggest new ideas, one that would light up some of Buffalo's oldest history along the waterfront.

The group met Monday along with its new interim director Sam Hoyt, who replaces previous director Jordan Levy who resigned in February. At the meeting, which included Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, plans were approved for a study regarding lighting the grain elevators along the Buffalo River. The study, which costs upwards of three hundred thousand dollars, will look into how much it would cost to light the elevators with the idea that it would draw more people downtown and resurrect some of Buffalo's history.

"Think about all the commentary over the last twenty years about these grain elevators, and nothing has happened. Well now we have something that would be a test case for us to allow something to happen," ECHDC President Tom Dee said. "We want to invest in something that's going to get a great return. If we can bring people downtown, bring people back to Buffalo, then that's going to have a good return on investment."

The Harbor Development Corporation is looking at a company from Quebec to use as a model, which turned grain mills there into a giant projection screen.

Also discussed at Monday's meeting were three proposals from interested groups that could become future tenants of the Aud site downtown. They include a children's museum, firefighter's museum, and Great Lakes experience center.

"We want this a fun place to be, a place that the public wants to come, and have free access, and have the opportunity to do something," Dee added.

Members of the ECHBC said it is still in the beginning stages of both the lighting project study and the Aud site proposals, but are optimistic about the progress being made and the future of Buffalo's Waterfront.