Not long ago there was a terrible plan unveiled saying that the only thing you need to put on the Buffalo waterfront is a hot dog cart and a couple of lawns.
Today there was a much more exciting plan that will probably never see much farther past today in terms of planning. Still, it is fun to dream. Today, the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation (ECHCHCHDCHD for short) pounded this baby on the people of Buffalo. My does that have the potential for greatness.
Some of the renderings are difficult to interpret while some of the things being planned also don’t make much sense to me. I’m sure there are a handful of strange accommodations being made to keep everything historically kosher, but for the most part it is a very cool little area. So long as the retail is actually retail. I don’t care if it is an Abercrombie or a Gap, so long as Buffalo Bob’s t-shirts aren’t hawking knock-off JP Losman jerseys we will be cool.
The hotel looks like a great candidate for visiting hockey teams. Now punk kids from Long Beach and frog, pylon defensemen can’t bitch about so much. The public market is brilliant and should bring an interesting mix of retail stores to the water. Looks like there are plenty more options for larger stores to lay claim to as well.
All that concerns me is what appears to be a lack of bar/restaurant space. I think that two or three restaurant-ready locations would bring people out in droves. I don’t just mean a cold sandwich and Jones cola bistro. I want a meat and potatoes restaurant where I can go before or after a game, or perhaps just on a nice day in the summer. The other thing that this is missing, in my opinion, is a true concert venue. I have driven past during shows down there and I took one in myself last summer. The place is a mob scene. Why not capitalize on that? Put in a venue with general admission seating for a few hundred plus a large floor area (example).
Those are two details that can probably be worked out later….or if I win the lottery, twice. Otherwise, bravo to the ECHDC, they came up with a plan that is tangible, not just green.