Improvements to Outer Harbor site to provide better visitor experience
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. (ECHDC) board of directors met today and authorized several contracts to advance the Wilkeson Pointe improvements project on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Working within an approximate 7-acre site, the area between the Wilkeson Pointe water edge and the nearby Fuhrmann Boulevard entrance will be renovated to provide a better visitor arrival and experience. See renderings here.
Announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2022 as one of several Buffalo waterfront projects being accelerated for completion, the Wilkeson Pointe renovations will begin in September. The site is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2025.
“Since it was created in 2013, Wilkeson Pointe has become a favorite place to enjoy beautiful harbor views and sunsets while walking or biking the paths, going for a paddle or savoring a cool drink at the beer garden,” ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. “Gov. Hochul’s push to advance funding for this project means that residents and newcomers alike will soon benefit from improved access and experiences while visiting this waterfront destination.”
Plans includes further visitor safety measures, such as moving parking away from the water and at a distance from the site’s pedestrian trail. A new food service building will also include restrooms and storage for the operations management team, and a new outdoor seating area either on the patio or within a beach setting. The new design calls for the site’s existing trails to be relocated and elevated near the water’s edge. All new utilities will be brought to the new building and site through the adjacent site from Fuhrmann Boulevard. The landscaping within the site will be improved with the planting of natural species, creating meadows, grasslands and pollinator fields.
The Wilkeson Pointe improvements project on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. (Renderings courtesy of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.)
The ECHDC board authorized ECHDC to enter into the following contracts:
√ Javen Construction Co. in an amount not to exceed $3,875,000, including contingency for general construction. Javen Construction’s scope of service will include new steel framing, steel framing preparation and painting, metal stud framing and wallboard, building enclosures, interior finishings, and select site work adjacent to the building.
√ Mark Cerrone in an amount not to exceed $5,886,500, including contingency for sitework construction. Mark Cerrone’s scope of service will include clearing the existing paved surfaces, establishing the site parameters, excavating for site utilities, installation of landscape and fence materials, new surface walkways and drives, and site enclosures.
√ Frey Electric Construction Corp. in an amount not to exceed $1,897,000, including contingency for electrical construction. Frey Electric’s scope of service will include routing the new electric service from Fuhrmann Boulevard to the Wilkeson Pointe site, distribution of electric service within the Wilkeson Pointe site, exterior lighting and miscellaneous electric connections for equipment installed by other contractors.
√ M.K.S. Plumbing Corp. in an amount not to exceed $407,000, including contingency for mechanical construction. M.K.S. Plumbing’s scope of service will include routing the new mechanical and plumbing service from Fuhrmann Boulevard to the Wilkeson Pointe new building, distribution of gas and water lines within the Wilkeson Pointe site, installation of mechanical systems within the enclosed building, and installation of all plumbing fixtures.
Funding for all these contracts is from the New York Power Authority, through relicensing agreements tied to the operation of the Niagara Power Project. NYPA transferred the land for the park to ECHDC in May 2012 as part of the Buffalo and Erie County relicensing settlement agreement for the Niagara Power Project.