Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. approved the purchase of the Port Terminal Complex for $3.5 million
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. approved the purchase of a 50 acres parcel, including the Port Terminal Complex, from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The purchase, which will add to the state agency's growing waterfront blueprint and expand potential public access to the water's edge, is expected to be finalized by the Empire State Development board of directors at a future date.
The $3.5-million purchase includes terminals A and B, which offer 400,000 square feet of warehouse space on prime waterfront land along Fuhrmann Boulevard for redevelopment. The complex dates from the 1930s when it was the site of a Ford Motor Co. plant.
"The Port Terminal parcel is an important piece of the puzzle for dramatically transforming Buffalo's Outer Harbor into a vibrant and accessible waterfront for residents and tourists to enjoy," ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. "Gov. Cuomo's leadership is giving us the direction needed to build on our success with the new Buffalo Harbor State Park, additional bike trails and other amenities that are helping to re-imagine the once-blighted Outer Harbor. We thank the NFTA for its stewardship of the property and for the steps taken to prepare the site for transfer to ECHDC, as we focus on the future watercentric redevelopment of the Outer Harbor. "
Peter G. Demakos, NFTA commissioner and chairman of the property/risk committee, said, "The NFTA is proud to participate in this historic transaction and congratulates Gov. Cuomo and the ECHDC on their collective vision for our Outer Harbor. During the NFTA's stewardship completion of the $13 million Greenway Nature Trail permanently guaranteed unprecedented public access to our waterfront. Today represents the last step in the total transfer of our Outer Harbor property, allowing the NFTA to fully concentrate on its core mission of providing safe and reliable public transportation."
In September 2013, Cuomo presented his vision for a dramatic transformation of the City of Buffalo's largely vacant Outer Harbor waterfront. This vision included the transfer of approximately 350 acres of waterfront land from the NFTA to ECHDC, whose mission and resources will better enable it to support and expedite the land's redevelopment. Approximately 190 acres of the transferred Outer Harbor lands, as well as a small boat marina and a beach, became the Buffalo Harbor State Park, which has seen nearly 150,000 visitors since it opened.
A nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors governs the ECHDC. The seven voting directors are recommended by the governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corp. d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The Erie County executive and the City of Buffalo mayor hold the two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions.
As a subsidiary of ESD, the state's chief economic development agency, the ECHDC supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York's waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region's legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty.
For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.