Plans for the extended public canals in the inner harbor are coming into focus. Hilary Bertsch of EE&K Architects presented an overview of the latest plans for the project to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation board today.
The public canal system will be constructed on the site of the former War Memorial Auditorium. Last November, the ECHDC modified the Canal Side General Project Plan to ensure that the proposed public canal system will follow the historic path of the Erie Canal. The changes were made after Bass Pro decided against locating a store at the Aud site and public pressure for more historically accurate development on the waterfront.
Nearly 100,000 sq.ft. of retail space would be constructed along Lake, Lloyd and Commercial streets. The site would be anchored by a 150-room hotel under draft plans. Office space, a visitor center, transit center and parking for 140 cars are also planned. Benderson Developent is developer.
C&S Companies of Buffalo will provide architectural and engineering design services for the canal system, in accordance with the terms of a $1.7 million contract awarded today. Construction on the canals will begin later this year and will open during the summer/fall of 2012.