Ambassador Bridge Group Shows Its Cards
A couple weeks after the Columbus Park-Prospect Hill â€˜Seven to Save in 2008â€™ announcement, the Ambassador Bridge Group has filed paperwork with the U.S. State Department in the hopes to present its plan for a Squaw Island International Rail connection. The plan is designed to alleviate the congested truck traffic at the Peace Bridge plaza, thus saving the Columbus Park-Prospect Hill neighborhood in the process. I spoke with Black Rock property owner, Ed Hogle, who was interested in the latest developments and feels that his property (remember the sex offender bid?) is of interest to many different parties who all have vested interest in various projects. I asked Ed what sort of action he was seeing in relation with these parties:
"One of my neighbors who has property in their (the Ambassador Bridge Group) way wanted to know if I had made the deal with Buffalo State College yet. My neighbor has been hanging onto his property in the hopes that the bridge group will buy it. He's dealing with a big real estate company that has been retained by the Ambassador Group. I was contacted a couple years ago and said that I was not interested. Of course they can still build a bridge without my footprint... but my property sits right adjacent to where they would build the plaza. I have ten acres of land for sale and there are a lot of different directions that I could go with the property. This is just another interesting development. There is even a third party interested in my land... there was a deal that was on the table that is not dead yet... that's why I want to know what Buffalo State is thinking. I would prefer to sell my property to Buffalo State College... that would be the best fit for this land, and it would be best move for the community. Of course if the Ambassador Bridge moves forward I would also be willing to hear what sort of offers they are putting out for the land."
At the end of the day, there is still the dilemma as to what is best for Black Rock. As we have seen (see The Stip's post), the plaza proposal in that neighborhood would seriously alter the landscape Black Rock. Then there is the battle to save a historic neighborhood surrounding the Peace Bridge (see Seven to Save post). According to an Associated Press article, "The State Department will accept written comments on the Ambassador group's permit application until April 28." In coming weeks, the Ambassador Bridge Group will be meeting with state and federal officials to discuss the proposed plans.