Governor Hochul Accelerates Projects to Improve Access to Buffalo's Waterfront

August 15, 2022

Advanced Funding Jumpstarts Four Major Projects on the Outer Harbor and at Canalside

$87 Million Project Underway at DL&W Terminal for New Commercial Activity Center and Metro Rail Station

Roadway and Safety Improvements to Tifft Street and Louisiana Street Will Create Waterfront Parkways

Projects Increase Waterfront Accessibility and Recreation, Will Help Further Boost Development

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the acceleration of several significant projects along Buffalo's waterfront. Advanced funding from the New York Power Authority to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation will jumpstart four major projects on the Outer Harbor and at Canalside. These projects complement recreation and transportation measures that will promote pedestrian access and continued equitable growth of the waterfront. This accelerated plan builds on more than a decade of progress spearheaded by ECHDC to restore 21 historic acres at Canalside and 200 acres on Buffalo's Outer Harbor that has resulted in more than $300 million in new development and over 1,000 annual events.

"We're writing Buffalo's comeback story, and it starts with tapping into the unlimited potential of our city, including parks, infrastructure and amenities," Governor Hochul said. "We're going to completely transform our waterfront into a destination for everyone to enjoy, and we're investing now to get these projects off the ground and finished earlier than expected. I thank Representative Higgins for prioritizing these projects and for his partnership to ensure that future generations of New Yorkers can enjoy all the natural beauty and recreational opportunities that our state has to offer."

At the direction of Governor Hochul, NYPA will advance Relicensing Agreement (RA) and Industrial Incentive Award (IIA) payments to ECHDC, which otherwise would have been due over the course of nearly a decade. The NYPA Board of Trustees approved the acceleration of RA payments in March and is expected to review the acceleration of IIA payments in September. As a result, ECHDC will have access to $54.2 million this year, which will accelerate planned projects along Buffalo's waterfront, in some cases by as much as 3 years. ECHDC has identified Wilkeson Pointe, the Bell Slip, the Gateway Building at Canalside and the Buffalo Riverwalk Feasibility Study as initial priorities for use of this funding. NYPA has previously made $72.1 million available to ECHDC in support of its project work. Over the course of the 50-year operating license for the Niagara Power Project, NYPA is providing more than $1 billion worth of benefits to Western New York.

$25 million in upgrades will also be made to Buffalo Harbor State Park with the installation of a splash pad near the existing playground and shade structures. The projects will also expand the existing playground to include four new accessible play pieces. Project renderings are available here.

Read the full press release here.