The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is looking to sell prime Lake Erie waterfront property. According to the Buffalo News, 60 acres of the Buffalo Outer Harbor will be on the market, upon which the state’s largest marina is located, the NFTA Small Boat Harbor, as well the Port Terminal complex.
The reason for the sale appears to be a high cost of maintenance with as much as $50 million needed to continue its upkeep. While the NFTA has been able to stabilize the shoreline, and provide public access to the water edge, they have been unable to significantly utilize the valuable property. In an interview with WGRZ, NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel said, “I think one thing that I would like to say is over the past fifty years there’s been a lot of time and effort by the Authority to try to do something with that property. We’re not developers, that’s not our expertise.”
The NFTA, previously the “Niagara Frontier Port Authority”, received the land from the City of Buffalo 55 years ago for the purpose of expanding the already busy port. However, one the Saint Lawrence Seaway opened in the late 1950s, the port expansion was no longer in demand and the NFTA did not do very much with the property.
Congressman Brian Higgins, who has long suggested that the waterfront property be put to better use believes that “there’s great promise for those lands, they have great potential and getting it into the hands of an operator that realizes that potential and runs with it is going to be very, very important.”
Minkel states that the Authority cannot guarantee the property will continue to operate as a small boat harbor, which will be sold separately from the 60 acre parcel, however “It’s our board’s intent to give preferential consideration for those proposals that come in that would continue to provide public access and use of that property”, said Minkel.