Another piece of the Niagara Street puzzle is heading towards completion. A vacant parcel at 1318 Niagara Street is in sight-lines for a makeover. Thanks to an initiative being pushed by Vision Niagara, the community will be helping to decide the fate of the brownfield parcel.
On April 28, from 5pm to 9pm, Vision Niagara will be launching a fundraising campaign to convert the brownfield parcel into a community gathering area. The event will take place at Resurgence Brewery*.
The intention is not only to create an environmental success story in the street, it’s also to preserve views of the Black Rock Canal and the Niagara River for the public. It’s also the perfect way-station for cyclists traveling along the River Trail.
For years, people have been wondering what was going to happen to this particular parcel, as it has been sitting idly by since the days after the demolition of Schaefer Brewing, and the malting factory before that (hence Grain to Green). According to Niagara Street activists, the site still needs to be cleaned up, but once it is capped it will be considered ‘safe’ as a park space. Finally the parcel is nearing the end of its languishing road, and will join the ranks of sites that are adding to the vitality of Niagara Street (contingent on funding).
Vision Niagara will be meeting with The City’s Office of Strategic Planning to explore options. NY State should fund 90% of cleanup, but that means that The City would still be on the hook for the additional 10%.
City of Buffalo’s Department of Public Works and the Buffalo Sewer Authority are both working with the community to transform Niagara Street into a destination instead of a thoroughfare. The streetscape project is part of Niagara Street Now – from Porter Avenue to Ontario Street.
Adding to the excitement, Riverkeeper has launched an initiative to transform 1660 Niagara Street into a waterfront park (see here). That will add aquatic access for canoeists and kayakers – yet another piece of the puzzle.
*The Grain to Green fundraiser will include an indoor five meter foot race, prizes, art projections, and (of course) beer! Stay tuned to Vision Niagara Facebook for details.