Outer Harbor Construction Underway

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 5:13 PM EDT

By WKBW News

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 5:13 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) It used to be the summer-time home of the Lake Erie ice boom, but now one large parcel of the Outer Harbor is the latest site of waterfront development, as it is set to become a mixed use area with plenty of public access.

It is something that local leaders say is long overdue, and after sitting near dormant for decades, Buffalo's Outer Harbor has a future, and it is already under construction. Just off of Fuhrman Boulevard, across from the current Outer Harbor concert venue lies a 21 acre plot of land that local leaders are calling the future of the Outer Harbor.

"This is a significant first step in creating that kind of unique public access on the Outer Harbor of the City of Buffalo," Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference Thursday.

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined other local lawmakers at the new site on Thursday, which is already under construction. Plans include a beach and waterfront pathway, sand volleyball courts and green space, as well as plenty of room for commercial and residential development.

"This is all about investing in the Outer Harbor and the Buffalo waterfront. This is really what drives change and drives investment," Duffy said.

Following the success of Canalside, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation says they're following the blueprint of the Inner Harbor, and looking to extend it, potentially as far as the NFTA Boat Harbor.

"They've asked for letters of interest. Both the City and Erie Canal have expressed that, and now it's up to the three of us to sit down and manage through that to see the land properly transferred to the right land development projects going forward," Robert Gioia of the ECHDC said.

The project has been paid for through State and Federal funds, and construction is expected to be completed by Memorial Day of next year.

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