IKEA Not Coming to Buffalo; ECHDC Forming New Waterfront Plan

9:54 PM, Aug 10, 2010   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Big box furniture store IKEA has informed Two On Your Side it is not considering Buffalo as a future location.

The news comes just hours after the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation announced IKEA would be one of ten companies they approached about placing a store at the Canalside project on the Buffalo waterfront.

IKEA said that, before it builds a store, it requires the metro region to have a population of at least two million people. Buffalo does not.

"The attention is flattering and humbling, but we have a very specific criteria as to whether a metropolitan area can support IKEA, and Buffalo cannot," IKEA Spokesperson Joseph Roth said.

Even before IKEA made its intentions knows, the Chairman of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation suggested it was premature to discuss landing the company.

"We haven't had any discussion with them," ECHDC Chairman Jordan Levy said. "They are on our list, as are nine other perspective tenants, and we're not really going to talk about it in public because... we unfortunately got defined in rebuilding our waterfront -- which is really what this is all about, folks, we got defined by one tenant. I'm not going to let that happen again."

Also Tuesday, The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation voted in favor of hiring a consulting firm to create a cultural master plan for Canalside in Buffalo.

The vote took place during Tuesday's corporation meeting.

The group in charge of the project hopes the firm will bring together the cultural and historical elements of the region and encourage them to relocate to Buffalo's waterfront.

The Harbor Development Corporation also voted to apply for a 
federal grant to build a harbor bridge -- for cars, bikes and pedestrians -- to take across the Buffalo River.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is now trying to come up with a new plan for the Canalside project after Bass Pro announced the will not open a store along the waterfront.


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