The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) has compiled the results of its Outer Harbor Access & Activation Project Survey #2. The crux of the online and in-person survey revolved around three options each for First Buffalo River Marina, Wilkeson Pointe to the Bell Slip, and Terminal B, all of which reside on 150 acres on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. The funding from the projects moving forward will come from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion II.
According to the ECHDC, much of what was learned from the second survey mirrored what was initially imparted via the initial study. The combined survey results will ultimately lead to the unveiling of a “preferred option” that will be presented at a third open house in May.
There were 221 respondents to the online survey. Nearly half of respondents reported they live in the City of Buffalo.
In the end, the surveys tended to point to more passive recreational uses for the Outer Harbor – walking trails, wildlife viewing, fishing, waterfront access, and biking.
First Buffalo River Marina – Respondent favored walking trails, ecological areas, living shoreline and amenities on the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator such as a viewing platform. Natural landscape/less development, more amenities in the Connecting Terminal area, restaurant on site.
Wilkeson Pointe to the Bell Slip – Respondent favored a new kayak launch, paths through Cottonwood Copse and pedestrian bridges. Regenerative landscape, expanded trail and walkway network and small-scale food service options. Respondents did not favor transient docking, glamping facilities or adventure playground.
Terminal B – Respondent favored the continuation of the Greenway Trail along the water’s edge and observation decks or walkway for views of Lake Erie. Reuse of the existing building and outdoor entertainment. Respondents did not favor a BMX course or a ropes course.
The three project areas being discussed make up nearly all ECHDC’s property on the Outer Harbor. The project areas include:
Northern Site: First Buffalo River Marina
- 15 acres
- Enhance public access
- Maintain 115-slip marina
- Enhance Queen City Bike Ferry access
- Identify potential adaptive reuses of the Connecting Terminal grain elevator
- Consider long term development potential
Central Site: Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip
- Nearly 150 acres
- Includes Michigan Pier and Wilkeson Pointe
- Includes Slips 2 and 3 and Bell Slip
- Consider improvements that will enhance access and visitor experience
- Discuss natural community habitats
Southern Site: Terminal B
- 15 acres
- Approximately 96,000 square foot one story building
- Program study for metal frame building
- Identify uses most appropriate for the site
- Proximate to exterior events lawn, currently under construction
The next public meeting will be in May 2019 to present the master plan for the Outer Harbor. For more information, please visit: outerharborbuffalo.com/accessandactivation/.