ECHDC Announces a Unique Opportunity to Be a Part of the Renaissance of Buffalo's Waterfront

Request for Proposals issued for two parcels ready for redevelopment at Canalside; RFP's are due on October 5, 2017-

July 19, 2017

RFP Available Here

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for two parcels of the South Aud Block, which will allow New York State to proceed with the next exciting phase of development at Canalside in Buffalo.  ECHDC encourages mixed-use plans that increase and diversify neighborhood offerings, attractions and opportunities.  The parcels are located along the canal system at Main Street in the heart of the vibrant Canalside project.  The state will enhance the development with approximately $2 million for reconstructed streets and other required infrastructure.  Proposals are due to ECHDC by 2 p.m. on October 5, 2017.

“This is an invitation for both small and large developers to create a neighborhood feel at Canalside with restaurants and entertainment venues on the street level and residential on the floors above," said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia. “It is an exciting time for ECHDC, as the state’s investment to make Canalside a true destination has paid off and we can solicit a variety of private developers to further the success of Canalside.”

The two parcels on the approximately half acre site—located across Main Street from One Canalside and the HarborCenter and adjacent to the popular replica canals and the future Explore & More Children’s Museum—are considered prime downtown parcels due to their proximity to Buffalo’s revitalized waterfront.  Last year, more than 1.5 million people visited Canalside.  The parcels are bounded on the north by the new canals, on the east by Main Street, on the west by Lloyd Street and the south by Canal Street/Marine Drive.  The site is split into two parcels by the former Prime Slip right-of-way and proposals will be considered for the use and redevelopment of one or both parcels.

The RFP seeks mixed-use proposals from large and small experienced real estate developers for the purchase, long-term lease or a combination thereof, and redevelopment of the parcel(s) of land in accordance with the overall Canalside Modified General Project Plan (MGPP).  New York State will accept any and all development proposals for uses and activities at the property, although retail/restaurant is envisioned on the tow path/at-grade level, with residential and office space on upper floors of the building.  ECHDC has a preference for locally-owned and operated retail and restaurants as opposed to national chain operations.  New York State Brownfield Tax Credits will also be available to the developer. 

The RFP permits a variety of proposed land uses, though proposals are required to include certain design features, such as reconstructed streets, heated sidewalks, Interpretive Prime Slip and canal lighting, which will be completed by the designated developer, as approved by ECHDC.  ECHDC will provide approximately $2 million for the capital construction of these required features. 

About Canalside 
Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past, when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until five years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and developed with millions of dollars in public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events and 1.5 million annual visitors, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax.

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
A nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors governs the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York state governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The Erie County executive and the City of Buffalo mayor hold the two non-voting, ex-officio director positions. For more information on ECHDC, visit

Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | | (716) 846-8309