Project with New York State Parks connects Third Street with upper Niagara River
USA Niagara Development Corp. and New York State Parks announced the start of construction of a new pedestrian entry into Niagara Falls State Park. Located at 305 Buffalo Ave., on the corner of Third Street and Buffalo Avenue, the entry goes through a vacant parcel purchased by USAN through the Buffalo Billion strategic land acquisition program. The program provides funding to acquire vacant or underutilized properties near Niagara Falls State Park.
"Niagara Falls is a wonder of the world unique to Western New York, and one of our great tourist attractions and economic drivers in New York state," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “This new pedestrian entry into Niagara Falls State Park will increase accessibility and create a link between the riverway pathway system and downtown Niagara Falls. As New York reopens smartly and safely, we are building back better than ever before, and this project is another example of New York's dedication to the revitalization of Niagara Falls and the entire region for all to enjoy."
The project consists of the construction of a 6-foot-wide asphalt pathway through the USAN-owned property, a steel stairway down a 28-foot grade change into the park, asphalt pathway connection to the riverway pathway system along the upper Niagara River rapids, and pathway lighting. The connector will allow easier access for residents, business and visitors from the Buffalo Avenue Heritage District to the Niagara River and the American Rapids.
“It has long been envisioned that every street in downtown Niagara Falls would provide pedestrian access to the water’s edge,” USAN President Anthony Vilardo said. “We are very proud to have partnered with New York State Parks in providing access to the residents of Niagara Falls and to the millions of visitors we attract annually.”
“With the recent restoration and expansion of the state park, it only makes sense to better connect the park to the city in any way we can,” State Parks Western District Director Mark Mistretta said. “This location is a natural way for both visitors and residents to access a world-class waterfront, just yards above Niagara Falls.”
The one-acre-plus vacant parcel is located at 305 Buffalo Ave., in the Buffalo Avenue Heritage District. It is adjacent to the Niagara Falls State Park, which draws roughly 10 million annual visitors. The $682,000 project will be publicly owned and maintained. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has emphasized improving the visitor experience at Niagara Falls State Park and downtown Niagara Falls, and this project builds upon public and private investments made in Niagara Falls since 2011.
Future development of the site will be conducted through a request for proposals process.
USAN, a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corp., is solely dedicated to the support and promotion of economic development initiatives in Niagara Falls by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls. For more information, visit https://esd.ny.gov/usa-niagara-development-corporation-6.