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More development possible on Buffalo waterfront

Posted at 10:09 AM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 18:37:23-04

Directors with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) approved plans Monday to purchase the First Buffalo Marina.  The marina sits on Buffalo's Outer Harbor, across the Buffalo River from Canalside.

New York Power Authority (NYPA) previously owned the property and agreed to sell it to ECHDC for $1.  ECHDC will take control over a 14.2 acre portion of the waterfront, including the grain elevators and the bike ferry stop they previously had permits to operate on.

Chairman Robert Gioia doesn't expect the ECHDC to make any changes to the new property and says the marina will continue to operate.

"I don't see any dramatic difference with what is currently happening to the property right now," he said.

The ECHDC also approved a $1.56 million contract with Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects LLP to provide architectural and engineer services on the Outer Harbor.  The group will complete environmental studies, structural and building surveys and provide other services in order to prepare a construction bid package.

That bid package is expected in 2017 and plans from the ECHDC set a timeline for construction to be finished by the end of 2018.

There are six improvements included in this contract:

  1. Create a visitor center at Bell Slip.
  2. Finish the southern end of the Green Belt bike path.
  3. Redevelop Michigan Pier into a "multi-use flex space" including walkway, deck, beach, beer garden and more.
  4. Develop 2 overlook locations adjacent the Bell Slip.
  5. Install signage from Gallagher Beach to the Lighthouse.
  6. Develop a mountain bike course.

The ECHDC is a subsidiary of Empire State Development and oversees Canalside.