Congressman Brian Higgins reported no update on potential plans for the re-use of Buffalo’s DL&W Terminal as a multi-modal transit hub.
It’s been over a month since two new alternative uses for the historic building along Buffalo’s waterfront were debuted. Both plans featured a new stop at the south end of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s metro rail. One plan, which Higgins is in favor of, would use the majority of the building’s interior as a link for bike, boat and pedestrian traffic. It would also see the building’s approximately 80,000 square foot upper level as new commercial space.
Higgins said the NFTA needs to take action towards selecting an option.
“It makes best economic sense, makes best sense in terms of really realizing the full potential of that historic facility,” said Higgins.
Higgins pointed out that the station would serve as a link between the popular Canalside area along the waterfront and projects in Buffalo River corridor like River Fest Park’s new lodge. He said the area is continuing to experience a great level of interest, both public and private.
Adding to the potential for the re-use of the terminal is strong interest in multi-modal projects from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, according to Higgins.
“So the timing’s right, the money’s available, the focus is right,” Higgins said.
The 43 million dollar project would require up to 80 percent federal funding. Higgins said it’s the kind of money that has helped areas south of the terminal, like the parkway along Ohio Street.
“Ohio Street was an old, broken, industrial roadway and now it has new infrastructure that is making possible the redevelopment of all this land that had no activity, even 24 months ago.”
Higgins said the South Buffalo area continues to grow and experience private sector development. That’s thanks, in part, to the installation of gas lines along the Buffalo River. Higgins said the next 24 months will bring additional residential units and an environment that continues to promote pedestrian and bicycle use.