Change to Canalside parcel strips potential development, Because it’s Buffalo

More public green space and less room for commercial development; that’s exactly what Buffalo’s central waterfront development project needs.

Business First ran a storyabout a pair of changes that will be made to a parcel of Canalside property in the next 12 months that will significantly alter the density and urban feel to the area. The change will also make a significant alteration to something that so many preservationists fought so hard for.

The canal and parcel on the left side of this photo have been drastically altered by the ECHDC.

The portion of the Donovan Building property that fronts Scott St. between Washington and Main was originally supposed to be the home for a low-rise strip of development with a canal roped between One Canalside (Donovan Building) and the “south block” as it is called.

The ECHDC has now decided that property is better suited to serve as additional green space with shady areas to sit. What about the canal? That will now turn into a reflecting pool – which is pretty much what the re-routed canals are anyway thanks to the Hamburg Drain.

To review, the ECHDC has deemed that a parcel of potential retail and commercial development replete with a canal just outside of the building will be better off as a lawn with a pool of water that will likely be shallower than what the foot-and-a-half canals will already be.

Canalside was enjoying plenty of positive momentum thanks to a year of actual development announcements and the commencement of other projects. Between the construction on the canals, One Canalside being in full swing and the announcement of HARBORcenter, Canalside was not only becoming a central location for serious development but was gaining the critical mass that the region has been waiting for since the first master plan was unveiled for the area. Continue reading

Get your lawsuits ready: Benderson awarded Donovan Building contract

It seemed more than inevitable that Benderson Development would win the request for the rights to the Donovan Building. For what it’s worth, no other RFP was submitted in the process. The more important piece of this pie will be what effect the development has on the greater Canalside development. Update: Buffalo News story on Canalside. I will comment on this at a later juncture.

Here are the basics (per Buffalo Rising):

  • Benderson will invest $30 million into the site, plus a $1 million deposit that they will start work by December (thanks Buffalo News)
  • Phillips Lytle will occupy the top four floors of the building
  • There is going to be nearly 12,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the ground floor, plus a two-story parking garage
  • All of this will go into a re-skinned version of the building which marks the first private investment into Canalside

THE. FIRST. PRIVATE. INVESTMENT. IN. CANALSIDE. Let that simmer for a moment. The grass huffers who shelled out all that dough to the triangulation and power of 10 seminar are getting their wish. This form of investing falls into the lighter, quicker, cheaper mantra of the anti-big box retailer gang. Well, at least it is following their theory of allowing the development to occur organically. Continue reading