Webster Block Continues Inner Harbor Momentum

4:11 PM, Apr 2, 2012   |    comments
Rendering Courtesy of: ECHDC
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BUFFALO, N.Y.- Buffalo mayor Byron Brown Monday put out the call to developers, asking for proposals for development on what he calls the most sought after plot of city land in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

The 1.7 acre Webster block sits directly in front of the First Niagara Center and would be a major focal point in the on-going efforts to redevelop Buffalo's canal district.

The RFP (request for proposal) stipulates a mixed use structure that would draw tourism. Mayor Brown says several established developers from across the state and country have already expressed interest in the site. Another party that is said to be considering a proposal is the Buffalo Sabres. Sabres management would only say that they continue to be interested in development around the First Niagara Center and look forward to reading the RFP.

The project could generate a $50 million private investment on the heels of the $30 million dollar recreation of the Donovan Building next door.

Erie Canal Harbor development President Tom Dee is excited about the next step in the on-going redevelopment project. Dee points out that right now there are 7 active construction projects underway at the inner harbor. Those projects include canal reconstruction at the Aud block, the Donovan site, The bistro at the Naval Park, extension of Central Wharf, site development on the outer harbor, the canal system on the east side of Main Street and reopening the south end of Main Street to cars. The Webster Block would be the 8th construction project underway.

Mayor Brown says whoever wins the bid will have to put the project on the fast track. He would like to see all RFP's returned by June, the contract awarded by August and shovels in the ground by next spring.

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