We all have dreams for the Outer Harbor. Some of those dreams are bigger than others. Despite one’s take on the future of the Outer Harbor, one thing is certain. Things are about to start changing. Earlier today, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) that should shake things up a bit. The RFP is for “professional architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and land surveying consultant firms and/or teams to provide master planning, environmental review, site management plan, design, permitting, bidding, and construction administration and inspection services related to the capital improvement of the First Buffalo River Marina on Fuhrmann Boulevard in Buffalo.”
According to Empire State Development (ESD), the RFP is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision that the Outer Harbor should be established as a more productive destination in WNY. For years, the Outer Harbor was extremely limited in its scope. In recent years, sections of the Outer Harbor have seen some successes, namely Wilkeson Pointe, which has become a waterfront highlight. The Outer Harbor also boasts two nature preserves.
Now, there is a push to develop a Marina Master Plan around the First Buffalo River Marina. Proposals for the RFP should take into account the following footprint:
Approximately 15 acres of fenced land at the northern end of the Outer Harbor, includes a 115-slip boat marina with a Marina Office Building and Marina Maintenance Building, several boat launch locations, outdoor storage for approximately 300 boats, and approximately 150 spaces for trailer parking and/or public patrons. While not in use by the marina, the site also contains the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator. The site is immediately adjacent to the Queen City Bike Ferry.
“The intent of this effort is to retain marina operations and boat slips while expanding the amount and types of activities and experiences available to Outer Harbor visitors,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The proximity to other planned improvements, recent upgrades to the property, and ECHDC’s desire to open this space to the public, makes an investment in this property a logical next step for Outer Harbor investment.”
ECHDC is considering the following preliminary water-dependent programmatic elements to be incorporated into the Marina Master Plan:
- Overall entrance, marina circulation and parking for vehicles based on type of general public/marina user
- Relocated boat launch and related circulation
- Relocated Queen City Bike Ferry landing and related circulation
- Site access and control for various types of users
- Pedestrian and bicycle circulation
- Landscape and public site amenity plan
- Public space programming, including:
- Rental Opportunities
- Future Development Parcel Plan, including locations for:
- Marina Restaurant
- Dry Stack Storage Building
- Entrance Station/Marina Office
- Mixed Use Development parcels
- ECHDC Maintenance Facility in the current Marina Office Building
- Site utilities, lighting and signage
- Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator rehabilitation/reuse
- Outdoor/Winter boat storage layout
ECHDC expects to award a contract for only the master planning phase. Once a Master Plan and a construction budget have been accepted by the ECHDC Board of Directors, ECHDC and the consultant will negotiate a final scope of work and fees for additional tasks, such as environmental review, design, construction documents and construction administration. After the master plan is complete, the consultant contract would then be amended to complete the work. Total project costs will be established by ECHDC after scope negotiations are completed.
The full RFP is available here (Note: a free account is required on the NYS Contract Reporter website to download the RFP).
A non-mandatory, pre-proposal conference will be held at noon on January 25, 2018 at the ECHDC offices at 95 Perry Street, Buffalo.
Proposals are due to ECHDC by 2 p.m. on February 15, 2018.