Plans for new construction within Canalside will soon be coming into focus. The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is seeking to retain a design firm to provide design, bid and construction administration services for four parcels on the south end of the Aud block. Three buildings are planned including a structure to house the Explore & More Children’s Museum. Proposals are due next Thursday.
Three buildings are planned (on right in concept above) including an approximately 16,000 sq.ft. structure on Parcel A2.1, an 80,000 sq.ft. structure on parcels A2.2 and A2.3 that would house the Explore & More museum and other tenants, and a 3,500 sq.ft. structure on Parcel A2.4.
All of the buildings will be owned by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) when completed. The restaurant operator, Children’s Museum and others will be tenants.
The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society will be an interior design and exterior interpretive signage sub‐consultant throughout the process and be involved with each task. The selected firm will also be working with Canalside Master Architect, Ehrenkrantz Echtut & Kuhn.
Some details from the RFP:
The building shall include a restaurant on the lower two floors with optional banquet space on the third floor. If banquet space is not required, the third floor would become spec office and/or residential. The building is envisioned to have a sloped roof, both to increase the visual height and to provide screening for mechanical equipment. The mixed‐use building has a floorplate of approximately 5,300 GSF with access from the towpath and streets. An RFP for a restaurant operator has been released.
Parcels A2.2 and A2.3
The building shall include a Children’s Museum on the lower two floors, with spec office and/or residential on the upper floors. The Children’s Museum has a floorplate of approximately 20,000 GSF (which includes the former Prime Slip) with access from the towpath and streets. The Children’s Museum also includes a green roof and outdoor terraces. The upper floors have a floorplate of approximately 10,000 GSF. The Museum has its own design team working on the build-out and programming for its facility.
The building shall include a comfort station and storage for site amenities, with the possibility of space for a visitor/information area. With an approximate 1,750 GSF floorplate, the building could be two floors. However, given the desire to create a dense, urban environment the building is envisioned to have a roof or roof appurtenances that increase the visual height of this building while providing for possible programming opportunities. Ideas include, but are not limited to, outdoor signage, movie screen, corner spire or tower.
The design contract is expected to be taken to the ECHDC Board for approval in January. Final bid documents would be completed by September 15, 2014 and the contract (construction completed) would end in June 2016.
Concept for ground floor of planned Explore & More Children’s Museum
Canalside Master Plan