Monday, November 24, 2014

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City of Buffalo, ECHDC submit joint bid for Outer Harbor

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Buffalo: City of Buffalo, ECHDC submit joint bid for Outer Harbor
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Seeing something done with the 400 acre property on Buffalo's Outer Harbor may be getting closer to reality.

The NFTA owns the property.
And just before its 4 o'clock deadline Monday the City of Buffalo joined forces with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to submit a proposal to purchase and develop the land.

"Both the Mayor and I agreed early on this is best for the community," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia.

Gioia says a report explaining how the deal would work between the two groups will be completed in the next couple of weeks. But the news made some very happy, from the owner of Doug's Dive to Congressman Brian Higgins.

"It's great news for the people of Buffalo and for Western New York and it's the beginning of the end of the NFTA's 55 year hold of lake front land in Buffalo," said Higgins.

Many of the proposal's details haven't been disclosed like the cost. Higgins has insisted that the land be transferred for $2, the same price the NFTA paid for the land back in 1957.

But, NFTA Chairman Howard Zemsky issued a statement saying the NFTA would have to recover the costs of the investments made on the land over the years.

The NFTA had suggested the City and ECHDC come together for the Outer Harbor proposal. Gioia says the ECHDC is a state entity, which would streamline the legal process of the NFTA transferring the land. The City has the man power, like police, maintenance, and snow plowing. But the ECHDC would take title of the land and Gioia promises that change is on its way.

"What we are on the brink of today is something that's very exciting for the community," Gioia said.

The NFTA will review the proposal at its next meeting in January.

The NFTA's goal is to select the successful purchaser by February 2013.

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