Aug. 28 meeting will seek feedback from stakeholders, public on preliminary concepts for site design
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. (ECHDC) announced it will hold a public open house on Wednesday, Aug. 28, to discuss the conceptual design for development parcels, street and parking facilities on the northern part of the former Memorial Auditorium Block, more commonly known as the North Aud Block, at Canalside.
In August 2018, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced $10 million in funding to transform the North Aud Block. This project aims to reintroduce portions of the block’s historic street grid, including walkable areas. It will also create parking and other underground infrastructure. These publicly funded improvements are designed to support future private development.
“We are looking to reintroduce elements of the historic street pattern that once traversed the Erie Canal at what we now call the North Aud Block,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “With our consultants and based on stakeholder and community input, we continue to refine our design ideas for the site. We welcome your feedback as we move forward in planning for this important site.”
The North Aud Block is bounded by Lower Terrace to the north, Main Street to the east, the canals to the south, and Commercial and Pearl streets to the west. See a map of property here.
The public open house and input session will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Honda VIP Pavilion at Canalside (entrance off Perry Street near Main Street). There will be a presentation at 5:30 p.m. followed by an opportunity to provide feedback and speak with the design consultants. The purpose of the meeting is to share preliminary design concepts and seek feedback from members of the public. Throughout the project, the ECHDC has sought feedback from stakeholders and members of the public through interviews, small group meetings, a design workshop, an online survey and public open houses.
TY Lin International, a multidiscipline engineering firm with more than 60 years of experience in successful infrastructure development – including the design of multifunctional public landscapes and urban buildings – was selected by ECHDC to design, bid and provide construction management services for the development of infrastructure on the North Aud Block.
ECHDC previously completed construction in 2014 of a series of “canals” on the South Aud Block based on the historical Erie and Hamburg canals. These canals are shallow, and support ice skating in the winter and other activities including paddle and pedal boats in the summer. Construction also included the creation of public spaces and bridges. These added canal features have grown in popularity and attendance each year and are attracting private investment, such as the newly opened Explore & More Children’s Museum and Heritage Point, which will break ground soon.