ECHDC Board Meets and Approves Items to Secure Parking at Canalside

March 25, 2020

Other items approved include maintenance of Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator Lighting and annual budgets

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors met today and approved several items, including two measures that will secure parking for tenants and businesses at Canalside.  As open land at Canalside continues to be developed, the need for parking is crucial to the continued success of Canalside partners and projects. The two parking lots are located along Perry Boulevard within the Canalside district (see map here) and will also be used as storage for Canalside back-office operations. 

“As Canalside evolves, providing year-round offerings and experiences, as well as mixed-use projects with housing and commercial space, we expect an increase in visitors and residents to the area,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The management of these two parking lots will provide ECHDC the opportunity to better regulate parking for new businesses and Canalside residents.”

ECHDC will pay the state Department of Transportation (DOT) $410,707 for a five-year permit for the use and occupancy of existing parking lots under a New York State-owned highway right-of-way. Approximately one acre will be occupied by storage containers, equipment and vehicles that support the day-to-day services provided at Canalside. These back-of-house operations are currently based at the North Aud Block, the site of an upcoming development project.  New parking spaces will be created and used by Canalside Partners, including Sinatra & Company Real Estate, which will break ground on its Heritage Point project at Canalside in April.  The remaining spaces will be offered to Canalside partners, such as Benderson Development and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Explore & More Children’s Museum, before other third-party agreements are reviewed. These agreements with third-party occupants will help defray permit fees. 

ECHDC Board also approved a $230,000 contract with LiRo Engineers, Inc. for design services associated with the parking lots. The project goals include: maximizing parking in both lots, including accessible parking spaces; improving the perimeter of the parking lots, where feasible, which could include limited fencing and landscape features; providing secure parking spaces in one or both parking lots; improving the parking surface, site drainage and site lighting; and providing space for Canalside back-office operations. 

The ECHDC also approved a $600,000 contract with Foit-Albert Associates for scheduled ongoing maintenance over a two-year period at the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator Lighting Project. Severe weather at the site has resulted in further damage to the fixtures and caused programming disruptions. A 2018 report had documented prior issues with a server and with fixtures at the site. In February, the consultant team corrected a December 2019 system failure, and updated a report detailing site fixtures and conditions. The installation still needs significant maintenance, new light fixtures and programming modifications. The services covered in this contract include the labor, equipment and materials required to perform ongoing maintenance visits throughout 2020 and 2021. 

Lastly, the ECHDC Board approved ECHDC’s fiscal year 2020-2021 operating and capital budgets. 

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

The ECHDC is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. 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 two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor.

As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit here.


Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309
Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239