Design concept unveiled for pocket park at corner of Niagara Street & Lafayette Avenue – $250,000 in funding provided by New York state
On Friday, New York State Sen. Sean Ryan was joined by local elected officials and community leaders to announce plans for a pocket park at a former industrial site on Niagara Street. The project will be funded by a $250,000 New York state grant secured by Ryan. Buffalo Common Council member David Rivera’s office secured an additional $40,000 for project planning costs.
Ryan began this project in 2020 as a member of the Assembly in an effort to add green space to an urban neighborhood that lacks significant natural outdoor recreation and gathering space. A steering committee composed of local community stakeholders has been convened to provide feedback on the project and help put together design concepts.
The park will be built on the vacant parcel at the corner of Niagara Street and Lafayette Avenue. The parcel is the former site of the Meyer Malting grain elevator, which was demolished in 2006. The .77-acre site, which is owned by the City of Buffalo, is in the final stages of remediation being undertaken by the DEC in accordance with EPA standards. It has been cleared for passive recreation development – current plans call for seating areas, a nature trail, and a public art component at the southern end of the park.
Ryan said, “With this project, we are going to be able to bring new life to a brownfield site and turn it into a community gathering space for a neighborhood that has a real need for more walkable natural recreation options. When the park is finished, it will be the perfect complement to the great connectivity work we have already done to make Niagara Street pedestrian and bike friendly.”
Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera said, “The fact that there will soon be a brand-new pocket park at a former industrial site in the heart of Buffalo’s West Side is a testament to our regional leadership’s commitment to creating new green spaces and ensuring the environmental sustainability of our neighborhoods. I thank Sen. Ryan’s vision to add park land to an area of Buffalo that has yearned for an outdoor centerpiece in which residents can gather, play and enjoy our city’s rich natural scenery.”
Council member Rivera said, “Although this plot of land may not be much to look at now, with its beautiful view of the water, I believe this will-be passive-recreation pocket park has the potential to be something very special. As an ardent supporter of green space, I am eagerly looking forward to the completion of 1318 Niagara St., as another parcel of usable green space for the community to enjoy!”