(December 25, 2021) — Governor Kathy Hochul is open to creating a second economic development corporation in Buffalo that will be tasked with waterfront transformation, in order to complement and accelerate the type of work that is being done by the Erie Canal Habor Development Corporation.
Staffers are tentatively calling the new entity the South Habor Development Corporation, and it will be tasked with transforming the largest industrial section of the city, from the Bell Slip to Woodlawn Beach State Park.
The aspirational long term objectives of the economic development vehicle will be to achieve 100% public access to the water’s edge; to increase the population of the area by 1,000%; to fully remediate all brownfield concerns; to construct street, water, electric, and other utility connections; to construct parks, public spaces, and recreational infrastructure; and to create public-private finance solutions to modernize unsightly industrial operations.
“The South Harbor Development Corporation will be focused on redeveloping the vast industrial expanses of the southern section of the city, along our historic harbor,” a Hochul operative explains. “That’s a very different task and focus than that of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation — which is about creating an extraordinary urban waterfront destination along the Inner Harbor.”
“Two separate waterfront development corporations will increase the organizational bandwidth of our region’s economic development apparatus, and there’s obviously a great deal of work to do,” he adds.
Names currently being floated for Chairman of the Board of Directors of the new corporation include Larry Quinn, Leecia Eve, John Koelmel, and Gregory Stevens.