By the time the historically aligned, 18-inch deep canals are complete at Canalside, over $300,000 will have been spent on consultants for the developing district.
Buffalo Rising, yesterday reported that Biederman Redevelopment Ventures will be contracted for no more than $253,455 to serve as a public space consultant for ECHDC. Tack that onto the $100,000+ paid to power point and Google image touting Fred Kent.
Here are a few cherry picked quotes from the BRO article:
…the consultant will expand the Canalside vision and activation plan from the Central Wharf area to the former Memorial Auditorium block. The purpose is to further enhance Canalside as a regional destination, attract a diverse and growing audience, and support the public amenities currently under construction.
BRV’s scope of work will include leading a public workshop to solicit ideas from the general public; identifying key issues, opportunities, partners, audiences and technical items (such as availability of power, lighting, ADA access); developing principles and themes that describe each environment, their inter-relationships, as well as the former Aud Block’s connection to Canalside; developing a program plan of activities for Canalside on the Aud Block for 2013; and developing two signature Canalside ideas (e.g., physical amenities, events, festivals, programs) for summer 2013 and winter 2013, among other tasks.
The article goes on to state that the canal construction will serve as a key area for development under this consultation along with the functional lawns that border the Central Wharf.
It is all fine and dandy that ECHDC identified the need to bring in someone with so much experience in operating public areas; but at what point will ECHDC actually take action on actually developing Canalside? Hell, it took Terry Pegula getting fed up with looking at a windblown patch of dirt to get the rest of the lawns in place down there. I suppose he will need to get angry about the lack of buildings before anything is ever actually built.
BRV is supposed to host a workshop to solicit ideas from the public. Unless they bar all of the loony toons from gaining access, BRV will be peddling bocce ball, hula hoops and hop-scotch as their big ideas for Canalside. Remember, public access and lighter, quicker and cheaper is the wave of the future.
I do trust that BRV will be capable of identifying the need for a uniform look in terms of lighting, signage and other amenities. After all, it shouldn’t be hard to realize that the look and feel of the district should reflect – as Andrew Kulyk puts it – Ye Olde Canal District.
The most intriguing portion of this announcement is that BRV is expected to come up with a pair of “signature ideas” for summer and winter of 2013. Now, that has the potential to be as big as actual development or as flimsy as the crowdsourced public programming that is currently be touted as progress.