On Thursday, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority took action to officially transfer its Buffalo Outer Harbor property to Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.
Congressman Brian Higgins hailed the approval, saying, "Today, Buffalo's Outer Harbor enters a new era that demonstrates we, as a community, are embracing, improving, developing and preserving our waterfront as a priority. I commend the principals at the NFTA and Erie Canal Harbor Development for their leadership and partnership on this transformative action for Buffalo's Outer Harbor. This was a long time coming."
For years, Higgins has contended that a transfer of the Outer Harbor property into the hands of an entity that is best suited to handle waterfront development would be best for the community. Most recently, in December of 2012, Higgins called for the transfer of the waterfront land from the NFTA to ECHDC for a cost not to exceed $2.
Last September, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's leadership, a plan was announced for the transfer of hundreds of acres of Outer Harbor property and creation of a new state park including a public swimming beach. On Jan. 13, the ECHDC board took action to
Under the agreement, ECHDC purchased 354 acres of waterfront land from the NFTA for a sum of $2. The NFTA will continue to operate the boat harbor for the 2014 season and will relinquish oversight in November.