Podcast: The Canal-Side Project Unveiled
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"Gov. Eliot Spitzer came to Buffalo today to announce that Bass Pro Shops intends to build a store at the Memorial Auditorium site, and that offices, a hotel and residential space will go up around it." -News Albany Bureau
That was what came across the desks of many Buffalonians this morning. That announcement anticipated a grand unveiling of the latest Canal-Side plans took place moments ago. Larry Quinn announced very clearly that this was not the Bass Pro project, rather it is Canal-Side, with Benderson's future development plans being almost twice as large as that of Bass Pro. The goal? To get the pieces of the puzzle to fit, which Larry is now confident that the team has in place, or is at least working quickly to achieve that goal. Once the environmental review process is finished, the development will move forward. This time there are some real improvements to the plan, some of which include the extension of the canal to The Aud site. That's huge news especially when compared to the previous shortsighted plan - ending the canal so close to its source. The further excavation of the Erie Canal should also please many of the preservationists. Restoring the waterways in this district is a smart move and brings the waterways inland further than anyone ever anticipated.
This new plan will act as a better gateway to the Outer Harbor and will help to rebuild Main Street. There was mention of new homes possibly being built in the future along the City Ship Canal and Buffalo River (as seen in model - 2nd solo image). And check out the bridge that would (if carried out) lead from Main Street and the Inner Harbor unobstructed to the Outer Harbor. It flows very nicely.
As the model was unveiled you will hear some laughter that indicates the point when the sheet (covering the model) knocked the miniature Skyway to the ground. Another important point is that planners are to follow and adhere to the design guidelines from the 2004 plan.
Bass Pro has agreed to build a major market store that will adhere to harbor architecture-style dating back to the turn of the century. And it's back to the $35,000,000 grant sum, but now Bass Pro will be paying $600,000 a year toward that, which will basically equal that same sum over the course of the lease. When asked when Bass Pro will be built, the answer was, "That's one of those ‘impossibles’ that we'll save for another day."
As far as Canal-Side goes, "Shovels will be in the ground soon enough." Even though Larry Quinn was quick to correct that the shovels have already been in the ground.
Jordan Levy leads off the podcast.
Special thanks to Urban Planner, Steve Stipanovich