An empty hole where the old Memorial Auditorium used to be has been an eyesore for decades. It's that hole that's the glaring exception to the progress we've seen elsewhere at Canalside. After years of sitting idle, that could soon change.
"You'll see a series of infrastructure investments over the next couple years," said Christopher Schoepflin, Senior Vice President for Empire State Development.
Coming this Fall, design work could begin on the newest expansion to Buffalo's Inner Harbor. Schoepflin sees the development being mixed-use and heavily residential.
Schoepflin says the process of design and layout will come in a few months, working with multiple development partners and the private sector. He says the state wants to turn Canalside into a thriving 24/7 neighborhood, similar to the Elmwood Village and Hertel Avenue.
One local developer says he's been working on this very neighborhood concept for more than a decade. Tim Tielman is the Director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo, and his vision of a neighborhood aligns with the vision of Empire State Development.
"If we build this properly using the historic street network and the canal it can be very attractive," Tielman said.
Once the project gets underway, Empire State Development says the public will have a lot of imput.