BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A key plot of land on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor will soon be changing hands, paving the way for future waterfront development.
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s board voted unanimously Monday morning to acquire about 50 acres of land from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
The NFTA has controlled that property, which includes the Terminal A and Terminal B buildings, as well as two smaller buildings, for nearly 60 years now. NFTA leaders voted late last month to transfer the property, making way for it to be redeveloped.
The transfer can now move forward with Monday’s vote from the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, which will steward the waterfront development there.
Congressman Brian Higgins, who has been fighting for the NFTA to hand over all of its land on the Outer Harbor for more than a decade, called it a historic day for Buffalo. “We’re seeing a new day. The Outer Harbor is now poised to continue to become a destination for people who just want to be at the water’s edge,” Higgins said.
“Now the entire Buffalo Outer Harbor, with small exceptions, is under the control of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. It’s an extraordinary undertaking, and an enormous responsibility, but I think it’s in the right hands,” said Empire State Development’s Sam Hoyt.
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation has agreed to pay the NFTA $3.5 million for the 50 acres on the Outer Harbor. That will be paid out out of the proceeds of any sale for future development.
If the sale doesn’t bring in $3.5 million in the next few years, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation would be responsible for making payments of at least $225,000 a year, beginning in the year 2020.
At this point though, it seems unlikely that it will come to that.
Congressman Higgins, at least, says there is quite a bit of interest from private developers already. He says he would like to see the property used as residential and commercial mixed use developments.