Governor Andrew Cuomo is committing $2 million in state funding to get things moving on the South Aud Block site at Canalside. Along with the State funds, Cuomo is also ramping up the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. An RFP will be issued for the South Aud Block in June, followed by another RFP for the North Aud Block this fall. There was no word as to why both RFPs could not be issued at the same time, in June, thus expediting the effort.
Congressman Brian Higgins and New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan are happy with this latest outcome, and feel that their messages to Cuomo are being heard loud and clear. Last month, Higgins and Ryan called upon the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) to step up development progress at Canalside with a public market, or something akin to the amenity. The two are pushing for Canalside to become “… a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.” They used the 2013 Canalside Modified General Project Plan (MGPP) as an example of the lack of progress that has been made thus far.
Higgins said, “For three and a half years, portions of the Aud block laid dormant and in disrepair. Now the promised public amenities at Canalside featuring iconic, Buffalo-themed restaurants and residential development are finally moving forward. The Canalside Master Plan called for the use of $20 million of NYPA settlement proceeds for the public infrastructure to support new mixed-use space, including exciting local retail and restaurant options.”
With this latest commitment from the Governor, Higgins and Ryan feel that private investment will follow. The two appear to be equally perplexed about the lack of development that was anticipated after releasing the 2013 MGPP.
“I am pleased to see that New York State is moving forward with this investment toward development at the Aud Block sites,” agreed Ryan. “Congressman Higgins and I have stressed the importance of following through with the 2013 MGPP at the Aud Block sites, and today we move one step closer to that vision.”