Buffalo, N.Y. - State Assemblyman Sean Ryan met with the NFTA on Thursday and says the Authority was "open and receptive" to criticism about selling two pieces of prime waterfront land to a private developer.
The Authority had a deal in place to sell the Small Boat Harbor and Gallagher Beach to businessman David Pfeiffer of Bear Development for $3 million.
But the deal ran into problems when Pfeiffer objected to paying for some environmental clean up costs at the site.
Ryan says the outer harbor land should be controlled by the area's waterfront agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.
Ryan says if the NFTA sells the land, it could result in the two pieces of property being isolated from long term waterfront development plans, and perhaps even limit public access to it.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan: "Right now we don't have a uniform vision for that land. My fear is there's no more waterfront land being made anymore and so if we do a sale to a private developer -- who has a very spotty track record in actually doing development, it's a construction firm that is actually making the bid on this -- we're actually going to have some trouble down the road and we should really work hard to avoid that trouble."
As an example of a similar property that Ryan says is being handled well, he points to the Erie Basin Marina which is owned by the city and is leased to a private company, ensuring that the public always has access to the area.
Ryan says the NFTA is now taking "a good hard look" at its decision to sell the property to Pfeiffer.