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ECHDC board accepts projects plan

by jmaloni

Submitted

Thu, Nov 14th 2013 05:30 pm

Aud block and city street restoration move forward

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. board of directors met and adopted a modified general project plan for Canalside. The vote marks an important step forward for the Aud block and the City Street Restoration project.

The proposed changes to the 2012 MGPP include redevelopment of the southern portion of the Aud block, restoration of a city street, and revisions to the project budget based on increased private investment on the Webster block. A public meeting will be held on the modified MGPP from 6-7 p.m. Dec. 3.

"We are moving forward with projects that will enhance the waterfront experience of visitors and residents," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. "The idea is to build on the success we have already seen at Canalside with the events and attractions by adding more choices for entertainment, education and dining. ECHDC is pleased to see that the overall experience and sense (of) pride people feel for Buffalo and Western New York is growing with each new element of interest that is brought to the waterfront."

The southern Aud block is bounded by Main Street, Scott Street and the Canal System (Parcel A3), currently under construction. The southern Aud block, divided into smaller development parcels based on the historic street grid, will have a mixed-use building. The proposed South Aud Block Redevelopment Project includes ECHDC completing the core and shell of two buildings and full build-out of a third building, with up to 100,000 square feet total of mixed-use space, which is purposed to include a restaurant, a children's museum and a visitor kiosk, among other amenities.

ECHDC will also complete additional public infrastructure as part of the site work, including the reconstruction of portions of Lake Street and Lloyd Street, as well as bikeway trail amenities and signage. Additional interpretive signage will be included on the site.

The reconstruction of Commercial/Pearl Street between Marine Drive and Lower Terrace, including the intersection of Perry Boulevard, would improve the city street by using a complete streets concept. In addition, the parking areas under the Skyway located north and south of Perry Boulevard would be redeveloped for Canalside parking. ECHDC is expected to partner with the City of Buffalo, New York State Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration to complete the street work.

For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.

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