Outer Harbor Planning 930in716 July 12, 2018

Thursday, July 12th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

It's 930. In 716. On behalf of the Erie Canal harbor development corporation and chairman Robert Julia. I'd like to welcome you to the first of the reed community meetings. Focused on improvement in the outer harbor shining a spotlight on the notre harbor in buffalo moving to the outer harbors the next logical step. Property that we only took on board a few years ago and. They've come a long way from proposing when I used to cost thousands blocks of condos brawl. Now there's a lot of green space lot of recreation space incorporating their plans we certainly could use. A couple more waterfront type restaurants whether it's a mixture of doesn't have to be fine dining noting that those children tremendously well for the masses we're trying to keep the slate very open. We want to make sure once again we're hearing everything we can't from the public. I'm Tim linger on 930 and 716 powered by the Brothers of mercy a five star rated skilled nursing residents offering affordable living in a country setting. Vision. That's what the meeting was all about Wednesday night they canal side in buffalo. As attendees entered the VIP tent at canal side they gazed across Erie Canal harbor to the outer harbor envisioned what. They feel is the best use of the expansive how order harbor waterfront space want to do. The gathering all began with Seaver and Allie who heads up waterfront development for Erie Canal harbor development corporation. Our memory and was in attendance. Looking at three different areas the first buffalo river marina on the north and we're looking at a 125. Acres of open space from well to some point down the bell slipped and we're looking at terminal B down on the South Bend. Com and so we're trying to gather input from the community to see what they would envision for those bases well the only thing that we have under way right now is the they terminal complex. We're building on. Three and a half million dollar construction projects. That was part of the buffalo 1000000001 where were. Building a mountain bike course and activities known. A large event space Armando and some multi use trails and then inner mixing that with natural habitat. So on that projects under way in that went through a process with a number of stakeholders. To kind of pull all those pieces together. So tonight we're really trying to build on the success of that build on the success of Lucas and point. And just take them out of Harvard to the next level yeah we obviously a focus hard to make canal side exit a success over the last ten years and I think it is and has become that. And yet moving to the outer harbors the next logical step its property that we only took on board a few years ago and as a -- we've gone through a blueprint sort of a master planning land use. Exercise with the public. And as analysis just kind of really defining what the public wants to see. With physical improvements before we put shovels in the ground so this is the beginning of probably about a six month or so process where we'll do listening today. We'll take all these ideas. Continue to work with stakeholders and partner agencies. And work through some alternative designs for the various areas. Bring those back up to the public in November for another round of comments. And then look to sort of solidified a preferred plan for these various areas brilliant when he nineteen. Perfect situation work the first project you see me coming out of out of this meeting when do you. Posse see it being completed may twenty money or it won't between ninety yeah I'd like to think you know if it's weak and yet the community behind preferred plan in early nineteen we'll go through environmental process certainly. And once that's wrapped will be moving into designing instructions so probably 21. About just kind of having a good plan that rushing in to something in mind now. The the right plan because this money you know it there's a lot of that what you wanna be using on the right things absolutely look we we're building a waterfront for generations to come. It's been rate to hit that first ten year mark. We expect what's built that year to be here for a very very long time and I think it makes sense to plan it and do it right. Well again we went to the planning process on the blueprint. And again that's artists that's just that general philosophy for what's gonna go out there it's great to us they were gonna do open space. But that can mean so many things to so many people. And so we thought it would be best to reach out again directly and ask people more specifically. You know again the in the mountain bike cam for you and sit out there and flying high or go birding and what you know what do people really want to do. And frankly what's not out there currently that people want to see so we're trying to just gather ideas to make sure we can put together cohesive package. Yeah they can go online outer harbor buffalo dot com. All of the information that's here tonight is on the website including the survey that they can fill out on line. So it so terminal B is and approximately 100000. Square foot warehouse that's located right along the edge of the outer arm there. It's been vacant for awhile. What the structure is sound and again it's adjacent to this improvement that we currently have under construction the events on in the trail system. And so we just want to see down at that southern and in the community agreed. That mixed use development made sense. We want to gather ideas early on it and see what well again where the public is that and if that building can be rehabilitated and anyway. At this stage we are trying to gather as much information as we can from the public understand what their ideas are. Just one of the areas of development is the large terminal building on the south end of the outer harbor property. Andrew row Lewis is with Bergman associates charged with coming up with the best use of that space. We're going back into the office were completing a market studied understand what it the actual economic opportunities are for the site. What the limitations may be. And them are doing a full scale architecture and structural assessment of the building so that we understand what the limitations of the site building cars. That you were you had I am building on California. That that was kind of like this or is that there was a developer that was involved in that. And. We don't have that in our minds ever men right now we're trying to keep the slate very open. We want to make here once again we're hearing everything we can't from the public. Before we bring any ideas down the table the next phase after we have the opportunity. Two gather all this information processing. We'll come back to the community with alternatives to evaluate. And then we will ultimately. Ask for additional input and narrow that down to a preferred alternative. That we can develop a process I. Right now things yeah you. What are the kind of ideas in here. We've heard everything from used the building for recreational purposes. Indoor. Soccer baseball. Indoor basketball. We've also heard break the building up and make it into. Smaller uses we've heard tourism in the buildings need to be an anchor for tourism in the outer harbor. Two of her life you know good press section of ideas at this stage in the community. And I'm sure of that throughout the rest of the night or morning. And applies right yeah we're we're based in Rochester and buffalo we have offices and in both cities. So ever affect our offices are down here in the inner. You know how much this isn't it means the community and how far they've come with an outside and you know. Being a part that that what happened now as it. Yes absolutely very familiar with it we understand there's passion for the outer Harvard passion obviously is to learn from what's happened in the inner harbor. I recognize the outer harbors different a different place in a different. Different strategies appropriate and we our goal is ultimately they're trying to help. Represent reflect what the public sees is. Passengers are site is about fifteen acres and we have about a 100000 square foot building so thank you just a bit more than two acres under roof. See yourself having multiple projects on this later is it something where you might. See where the land and actual building maybe two different things high country. We we do believe that. There could be one. Large significant use or we're also looking at alternatives where maybe. It's broken up into. A handful. Smaller more unique uses as well. So we have to understand. What the market will bear. We need to understand what the building allow us to do. And we want to understand what the public will accept. And we're in take all of that together and we'll come up with a we'll come up with some ideas for a valuation. You know the building could be depending on the structure of conditioned building may be. Well suited for having multiple uses inside. We have heard the idea. Everything from having storage in the building for the outdoor concert. For and that's gonna occur on the great lawn. We had heard a microbrewery has an idea. Once again the idea having some kind of year round recreational resource. In the building. And then. You know from the site itself we've had a lot of interest in. In bringing the pedestrian sure Al the bicycle opportunities. Around the building as well so and its it doesn't. It doesn't function like a road block. And still to be determined how parking in circulation will be handled there are some ideas that have been presented on plans and some of the other stations here tonight you can take a look at. But it is certainly something we're going to have to evaluate how do you get people in and out of this site how does it relate to the concert uses the maker out on the great line. We do believe this site has plenty. Area they could be used for parking but still how that used hasn't laid out how do we deal with circulation access that's going to be. Next steps in the planning process. It's public property and we'd like to number one make sure that we keep it public. There's always a critical lie and indie kind of development in buffalo and the outer harbor coalition and are watching this process closely. We don't want to privatize this property we don't want to deny access to people of buffalo. The Great Lakes this lake is one of the greatest assets will ever have and for future generations we don't want to deny them access so we want to privatize an area. Second part that we look at as the environmental significance of this site itself or lying it's the story line on. When that Great Lakes which represents 20% of the world's pressure there's water so developing that. Kind of impacts that in a negative way if we get to correct environmental. Remediation out there and habitat build and it'll help preserve that it's also a climate change issue climate resilient he's a big deal. This is our waterfront and we do all sorts of storms be great lake state she's coming here. Just this April much of the outer harbor was under water because of a big storm and its age. Including the queen city landing site which they're talking a 1000000023 story. Condo so we're concerned about those kinds of things we want to build climate resilient community environment we've seen. Area in place the people going enjoying nature Joyce sunsets enjoyed birds and their future generations and we just we have detectives for. Do you think this meeting me eat it does good for for that or do you think that. You know you're you're worried about what kind of projects might be coming from this. I think it theory now Harvard melman corporation who is basically running the development Indiana harbor. They've done a great job in terms of listening to the people's voices yeah all right a Harvard group represents people's voices. They've come a long way from proposing when I used to call a thousand lots of condos sprawl. Now there's a lot of green space a lot of recreational space incorporated in their plans and so we're pretty supportive of what they're doing. So we're happy to be here and we're happy to do with it. Any kind of ideas you're gonna be rained down I'm posting notes or write him yourself what you think that that could be helped out with the these areas. You see them up there we've been we've been meeting. With the CH DC for a couple years so a lot of our ideas are incorporated in these plans though. He could public keeping green and just make sure people have access to this if nature and chaos magic. I'm so time beat each picture is as wonderful nature preserve its one of the few neat creatures on the shores of Lake Erie. We're downtown buffalo right across canal side. And it's a big preserved with. Incredibly rare species of birds and colonies today I mean this very gay we have very very we've never seen out there before all the snow eager. And increasingly we're getting. Interesting and different birds. Were part of the night river globally significant important bird area so birds are important and they rely on the serious self. Nice beaches and critical place for birds and we're always concerned that inappropriate development. Like condos next time speech could impact negatively. On the nature of your. Into out of Harvard meetings I can tell you how many years now probably going on ten. There for the meeting last night was Willie Schultz he's a long time outer harbor enthusiast a supporter and sometimes critic. And it gets a little frustrating I think the powers to be. Don't want to listen to let. People lie and I think the majority of people watched. Which is more. Laid back. Easy to enjoy a nature water. At the end of you know meetings we everybody put their input they came back and had a big consultants. When they were out of they wanted to build actually whole city out here. And it was just ludicrous. You know no way we're gonna comedy that housing and it was just building out all the all the land taken up. States. So do you think that this meeting is gonna do anything or do you think it's a little bit maybe for show and there's might who knows what if they'll act the act on any of these ideas they're being given to them. Matt I think Dave they get a bit and are receptive over the years they've had to calm down. You know and probably resets. There there visions. But I think ultimately. There's going to be a little little push hopefully there's compromise. Do you would you rather see him almost leave it alone like it is her you know like you say kind of focus on building up and making more they. Laid back you know nature sight read and seen any infrastructure being built on the east peace. I think you need to have some summit amenities out there. We certainly could use. A couple more waterfront type restaurants whether it's a mixture. Doesn't have to be fine dining I don't think that goes over it tremendously well for the masses. Let you know some. Casual dining places little fast food. I and I think honestly. We can support. The majority of that or three seasons. You know to get gentleman's name but the guy that was running what is now Charlie's boat yards. You know he minded keep it open year around the one year and end argument would be an FDA over who's gonna park you know plow distinctive American line. I mean that's ridiculous I mean get a stop down the parking lot. Let you know what's what's the big deal. It's really just about when you get these projects the other being able worked together so every at it's done efficiently. I mean I've scenic route I mean I've gone from. Over ten years ago on the outer harbor on my bicycle. And I would bring people from. Our suburban friends I live in the city. And people would be like whoa what is this out here you know and lose the out there you know a handful of us and it may be a couple of other handful of groups. And that Libya. And now of course that's changed a lot of people have discovered it things like that they've had a few festivals obviously that helps. Bring people into at least see the area and see what it was. But you have to be an old person like me to go back to say when. You know the pier restaurant is out. And they you know that was a restaurant was the rest up before it's time. You know waterfront restaurant before buffalo and it was a waterfront city. More meetings succumb for sure at least two. Remember you can take that online survey we have a link in our story at WB EN dot com and we're back to more. That's 930 and 716. We're back tomorrow with a net irritation from the studios of WD EA and buffalo all.