Buffalo, NY - A Buffalo developer is facing opposition to his proposed entertainment complex by two big corporations. Tuesday, Doug Swift and his partners will once again go before the city's planning board to try to get their project off the ground.
"Right now, we don't see industry coming back in any major way in Buffalo. There's 40 acres out there that are completely under-developed," says Swift.
Swift and his business partners own part of the land on Ganson Street and envision it becoming an entertainment complex they are calling Buffalo RiverWorks.
They have hit a slight bump in the road.
"Some of our industrial neighbors expressed some concerns about traffic and safety. Pedestrian and vehicular conflicts that we fully respect and understand," says Swift.
According to Swift, two corporations- General Mills and Archer Daniels Midland- went to the Buffalo Planning Board to request an additional traffic study.
It will be finished by Monday, which is in time for Tuesday's planning board meeting, but Swift is confident the results will be in his favor.
"This road is completely adequate for the traffic that's proposed," he says.
Swift says he has seen growing support from the community and wants to work with his neighbors.
"We love the industrial feel and we love our industrial neighbors, and almost two months ago, I went to General Mills and went to explain the scope of our project, laid out all of the plans, and offered them a seat at the table in this planning study that was to come," he explained.
We called General Mills to ask about their traffic concerns Friday, but the offices are closed for the holiday. We also emailed the company and did not hear back.
Swift says one possible pedestrian solution is to direct people from the Michigan Street Bridge down to a waterfront walkway before reaching General Mills.
"We're kind of the first guys to put our flag in the ground, and I guess we've stirred a bit of a hornet's nest in doing so, but we're excited about the potential and we know at the end of the day, we will be able to keep moving forward," he says.
An ADM spokesperson would only confirm the company spoke at the hearing a few weeks ago expressing concerns related to mixed-use zoning, increased traffic and possible loss of efficiencies if their trucks are delayed.
The planning board meets Tuesday at 9 a.m.