Hundreds submit opinions on a new Outer Harbor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Right now it’s nothing but a long strip of grass at the foot of the Skyway, but by next year a lot may be happening on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

Hundreds gathered at WNED TV Studios downtown to see the plans drawn up by a San Francisco architecture firm. The firm was hired the by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to hear from the people what should be done with about 160 acres of Outer Harbor land.

RELATED | See detailed versions of each plan, including a photo and description, here

“The NFTA has given up their 56 year hold on the Outer Harbor waterfront,” said Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo. “So unlike previous planning processes, which have taken 40 years, this one will take four months, and it’s specific, and your input will be direct.”

One plan would put an outdoor amphitheater where the old Pier restaurant used to stand. Another would turn it into a museum, and a third plan would put a small neighborhood there.

“I don’t think the neighborhoods are appropriate to put in this site,” said Buffalo resident Mike Herbold. “I really don’t think that we should be using tax money to create a preserve so that very affluent people can have their condos down there.”

Sue Hens Smith would prefer to see an amphitheater on the waterfront, but isn’t so sure about a small neighborhood.

“I still like it more of a natural destination.”

Buffalo resident Jim Anderson was disappointed that the idea of putting a stadium down on the water.

“I mean a the idea of a stadium on the harborfront was a great idea.”

Those in attendance wrote down and handed in hundreds of different opinions, but all seem excited something is happening.

“Keep what’s there, but make it better.,” concluded Hens-Smith.

There will be one more public hearing next month, before a final plan is released in October. Some of the work might begin in late fall.

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