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Buffalo: ECHDC issues RFP for marina operations at First Buffalo River Marina


Wed, Jan 16th 2019 01:15 pm
Image courtesy of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.
Image courtesy of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.

Property directly across from Canalside on the Buffalo River will see a new management team before start of 2019 boating season

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. (ECHDC) today issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the operations and maintenance of First Buffalo River Marina on the city’s Outer Harbor. This RFP is an opportunity to operate a popular marina on the Buffalo River directly across from Canalside. The operations agreement is expected to be signed prior to the 2019 boating season to ensure a seamless transition for boaters. In addition, the new marina operator will be required to assume all existing contracts at the marina and hold rates the same for the 2019 season. Proposals are due to ECHDC by 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7.

“The First Buffalo River Marina is a gem on the Outer Harbor – a place of leisure and activity for boaters and those who utilize the site,” ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. “While this is an exciting opportunity for an operator to be involved at this popular site, slipholders can be assured that there will be no changes this upcoming season.”

The 10-acre site includes approximately 2,000 square feet of water frontage, as well as a 115-slip boat marina, outdoor storage for approximately 300 boats, a boat launch pad, administration building, approximately 150 spaces for trailer parking and/or public patrons, and a boat repair building. The site is also immediately adjacent to the Queen City Bike Ferry landing, Wilkeson Pointe, Times Beach Nature Preserve and the nearby U.S. Coast Guard station/Buffalo Lighthouse.

Knoxville-based Safe Harbor, which currently operates Safe Harbor Marina at Buffalo Harbor State Park, was awarded a two-year contract by ECHDC to run the First Buffalo River Marina in January 2017. That contract ran through the 2018 boating season.

The full RFP is available HERE. (Note: a free account is required on the New York contract reporter website to download the RFP). A non-mandatory, pre-submittal site tour and meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the ECHDC offices at 95 Perry St., Buffalo.

Under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, New York state is making a historic commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. In 2013, almost 400 acres of land on the Outer Harbor was transferred from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to New York. As part of that transfer, Buffalo Harbor State Park was designated as the 180th state park in New York’s system and the first in the City of Buffalo. Buffalo Billion I committed $10 million for improvements to transform Buffalo Harbor State Park into a new visitor destination that continues the revitalization of the city’s waterfront.

Buffalo Billion I also committed $5 million for a project, now under construction, that will enhance access and facilitate greater public use/enjoyment of 20 acres at the southern end of the Outer Harbor. The project includes a completed multi-use greenbelt trail, including pedestrian and bicycle amenities; two overlook locations; an urban bike park with skills features and off-road trails; an events lawn for passive and active recreational purposes; and three habitat restoration areas. That project is slated to be completed by May.

Buffalo Billion II committed $15 million for the three projects on the Outer Harbor (now in planning).

As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, ECHDC supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor to attract critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.

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