Mayor Seeks Proposals For Webster Block

April 1, 2012 Updated Apr 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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April 1, 2012 Updated Apr 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. ( release ) Mayor Byron W. Brown announced Sunday that he is issuing a request for proposals for the “Webster Block”, the most sought after parcel of city land in the Buffalo-Niagara Region on Monday, April 2, 2012. This 1.7 acre site, located directly across from First Niagara Center, is considered a prized downtown parcel due to its location in Downtown Buffalo, its proximity to Buffalo’s waterfront, two major sports venues, and the Peace Bridge.

“This is an exciting time for Downtown Buffalo and its waterfront. For the first time, city residents and visitors have a vibrant and lively waterfront destination that keeps them coming back,” said Mayor Brown. “We’ve made great progress in a remarkably short period of time along Buffalo’s waterfront, and now we’re ready for private development to build on the momentum by re-inventing this prime piece of city-owned land.”

The RFP is seeking a qualified developer or development team with the ability, creativity and vision for the development of the property in accordance with the overall plan for the area. The City will accept any and all development proposals for uses and activities at the property, and will consider being a partner in the development project as the owner and the funder of an integrated parking structure.

The “Webster Block” is primed for development, uniquely situated on Buffalo’s Inner Harbor, with the First Niagara Center directly south, the HSBC Atrium and its 1,800 employees directly to the east, the $30 million mixed use redevelopment of the Donovan site to the North, and the $250 million Canalside Project to the west. Last year, over 400,000 people visited Buffalo’s waterfront to enjoy the recently completed improvements in Buffalo’s Inner Harbor.

Located in the shadow of the First Niagara Center, home of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, the “Webster Block” is also located a short walking distance away from Coca-Cola Field, home of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League, and in close proximity to the Mayor’s Cars Sharing Main Street Initiative which calls for the redesign and reconstruction of Main Street.

Mayor Brown’s request for proposals for the “Webster Block” comes at a time when Buffalo has one of the lowest effective tax rates in New York State; and one of the strongest municipal budgets. Adding to this positive environment for investment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently committed a $1 billion to restructuring Buffalo’s economy.

All inquiries regarding the RFP must be submitted in writing to websterblockrfp@city-buffalo.com. Questions and inquires will be accepted from all interested parties until Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (EST) and responses will be posted on a continuing basis at www.city-buffalo.com/websterblockrfp.com No responses will be provided for questions and inquiries after this time to non-registered parties.

To register, interested parties must send a letter to:
Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning
Attn: Webster Block
920 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202

The RFP can be found on the City of Buffalo’s website, www.city-buffalo.comand advertised in local and national publications, including the Buffalo News, Buffalo Business First, Wall Street Journal, and Urban Land Institute Bank.

The RFP Registration deadline is Friday, May 25, 2012, 4:00 P.M. Proposal Submissions are due no later than Friday, June 15, 2012 at 4:00 P.M.

The City of Buffalo received input for the development of the RFP for the Webster Block from the following organizations: Brookings Institution, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Urban League, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Kaleida Health, and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.