Higgins urges ECHDC to back new waterfront redevelopment

Sep 16, 2015

While saying Buffalo's waterfront has enjoyed a banner year, a local federal lawmaker says the region cannot be complacent. Congressman Brian Higgins is urging financial support for two proposed new waterfront projects.

As a NFTA Metro Rail train rolled to start a northbound route through Buffalo, Higgins stood a few yards away from the DL&W Terminal, located on South Park nestled between First Niagara Center and the Buffalo River. While the NFTA continues to use the ground level of the terminal, Higgins sees potential in its second level.

A view of the DL&W Terminal along the Buffalo River.
Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO

He's calling on the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to commit up to $10 million to renovate the second floor of the terminal.

"We have talked to developers throughout the years. We've talked to NFTA officials throughout the years. This building needs some work, because of its unique design, because it's not necessarily accessible right now, and needs mechanical work including utilities," said Higgins. "But obviously this has great potential to be a waterfront destination."

The congressman is also urging the ECHDC to commit up to $10 million to fund a second proposal, improving access along Kelly Island, which is situated nearby and is home to Riverworks, while Silo City and Riverview Park sit nearby.

"There have been two decades of studies, two different studies, all basically saying the same thing; that we need a riverfront trail, along Kelly Island, along the Buffalo River, to enhance the pedestrian and bicyclists experience there and to realize the full potential of waterfront development," said Higgins.