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DL&W Closer to Development

As stated in a letter by Congressman Brian Higgins yesterday,
$11.8 million in federal dollars that was designated for transit funding in
2004 will be repurposed for the rehabilitation of the  DL&W
terminal by creating a pedestrian walkway and other pedestrian enhancements,
and by rehabilitating the second floor of the terminal and opening it to
development. 

In 2004 Congress designated the transit funding for the
Redevelopment of Buffalo’s Inner Harbor.  Local economic development
officials decided that these funds were to be used for a museum, in order to
build a critical mass of amenities at this important destination.  However
because a museum is not an eligible expense of federal transit dollars, the
funds were caught in bureaucratic limbo, unable to be spent and set to expire
in October 2007. 

Upon learning of the imminent loss of these funds, in August
2007, Congressman Higgins convened federal and local stakeholders to find a way
to spend these federal dollars so that they would not be lost to the region. 
They decided to reprogram these transit funds to the Niagara Frontier
Transportation Authority (NFTA), which has an aging fleet and is in desperate
need of new buses in order to maintain efficient transit service for Western
New York.  The United States Department of Transportation announced its
approval of Higgins’ request to repurpose these funds yesterday.

“Allowing these funds to vanish into the bureaucratic abyss of
Washington was never an option,” said Higgins.  “By pulling together
federal officials in Washington and New York City and local development
officials in Buffalo, we produced a plan that will fund both the purchase of 25
hybrid buses to improve transit options for Western New Yorkers, and the
development of the DL&W Terminal at Buffalo’s Inner Harbor into a transit
hub and public exhibit space that will serve the hundreds of millions of
dollars in development at the Inner Harbor.” 

Furthermore,
Higgins stated, “Not only does this action represent 25 new, environment-friendly
buses for the NFTA, but it will remake the DL&W terminal into a first class
hub to handle visitors to the Cobblestone district, the Inner Harbor, and the
HSBC Arena.  Further, it will open to development 130,000 square feet of
floor space in this historic building in this prime downtown, waterfront
location.”

Written by WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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