FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2011 CONTACT: Erich Weyant (ECHDC) eweyant@empire.state.ny.us | 716.846.

8258 WATERFRONT PROMISES MADE, WATERFRONT PROMISES KEPT ECHDC announces 2011 improvements: y y y y y Debut of two new food venues ± a sit down bistro and a takeout food stand Triple the number of cultural, recreational and educational events (from 115 in 2010 to more than 300 in 2011) Extension of the Central Wharf, an additional 400 feet of waterfront access Updated plans for the historically aligned canals Kickoff of work with new partner Project for Public Spaces, to create vital places that spur rejuvenation

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today outlined the actions it is taking to fulfill its pledge to revitalize Buffalo¶s waterfront this summer. Visitors to the Inner Harbor will be able to stroll or bike along an extended Central Wharf, take in a wide range of cultural programming, and enjoy a meal on the water¶s edge. These changes are the direct result of a process that began last fall, when ECHDC Chairman Jordan Levy called for a series of open houses, where the public was invited to provide input into the process of developing the waterfront. In the wake of the tremendous response from the community, the ECHDC Board of Directors created a series of subcommittees to study the Historic District on the Inner Harbor, the Outer Harbor and the Buffalo River corridor, with the goal of implementing improvements by the summer of 2011. These subcommittees complemented the existing work being done by the Cultural and Public Art committees. Chairman Levy also promised to reach out to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to assist the committees with their work. ³The community spoke, and we listened,´ said ECHDC President Thomas P. Dee. ³We received hundreds of ideas during the open houses. Our hard working subcommittees, comprised of 90 volunteers from all segments of our community, evaluated those ideas, and now the staff of ECHDC is going to implement the ideas that rose to the top.´ ECHDC reached out to a broad spectrum of the Western New York community for the subcommittees, seeking representatives from the public and private sectors, and even sometime critics of the agency, such as Tim Tielman and Mark Goldman. ³There is extraordinarily exciting work going on,´ said Goldman, ³and I¶m very excited to be a part of it.´

The ECHDC Cultural Committee issued its recommendation for this year¶s cultural programming at Canal Side on Friday. The committee, which is comprised of the heads of Western New York¶s major cultural institutions, including Donna Fernandes of the Buffalo Zoo, Catherine Schweitzer of the Baird Foundation and Mark Mortenson of the Buffalo Museum of Science, has endorsed 211 events and activities to be presented by 20 different groups. This programming will result in an unprecedented level of activity on the Inner Harbor. Proposals were evaluated based on their ability to tell ³The Story of Buffalo.´ The 876 hours of programming will highlight the history of the Erie Canal District through story and song, provide hands on science education and allow visitors to enjoy health and recreational activities in the heart of the historic Canal District. ³These 211 events will be added to our contract with Buffalo Place,´ said Maureen Hurley, chair of the Cultural Committee. ³This will bring the total number of events taking place at Canal Side to over 300. I want to commend the head of the Cultural Steering Committee, Peter Dow for his outstanding leadership. He work has led to a true collaboration among our region¶s cultural institutions. This synergy is going to ensure an exciting, vibrant waterfront this summer.´ Visitors to the Inner Harbor will be able to enjoy a variety of restaurants and food vendors for the first time this year. The Summer 2011 Work Group, headed by Newell Nussbaumer, is working with the leadership of the Erie County Naval and Military Park in order to find a vendor interested in operating a 2000 sq ft café on the first floor of the Naval Park¶s waterfront museum. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and Nussbaumer says that they will encourage the operator to seek a beer and wine license. Hungry guests seeking a meal ³on the go´ will be able to stop by a takeout food stand on the Central Wharf themed to the history of the Canal District. Bikers have received a great deal of attention from the Summer 2011 Work Group, which wants to make the Inner Harbor into a major biking destination. Towards that end, they have submitted a request to the NFTA to expand the numbers of bicycles allowed on a Metro Rail car from two to six. Bikers will also appreciate an expansion of the Central Wharf. This new section will connect the waterfront path to Main Street, providing a link from the Erie Basin Marina down along the Ohio Street corridor to Festival Park. ³I think that this is one of the most exciting additions to our waterfront in years,´ said Newell Nussbaumer. ³We¶re finally providing connectivity to the entire waterfront. People will be able to bike from Delaware Park all the way to the Outer Harbor.´ Canal Side Project Master Architect Stanton Eckstut presented refined plans on Friday for the series of public canals that are to be constructed on the Aud Block beginning this fall. Eckstut says that the intent is to have design focus on the period ranging from 1870¶s to the 1890¶s. Towpaths will line the sides of the canals and allow visitors to walk underneath the bridges that will cross the canals. The width of the towpaths will vary from 5-15 feet, keeping with the historic layout of the original canals.

This attention to detail and commitment to historic interpretation has won praise from Tim Tielman, founder of the Campaign for a Greater Buffalo. ³For a long time, our organization has questioned any design that places the water on top of the Hamburg Drain, rather than truncating it so that the canal is at the level of the Commercial Slip. However, accepting the notion that the Hamburg Drain remains in place for the meantime, this design comes closer to the historic levels of the canals and allows most of the towpaths to be built under reconstructed bridges. This provides a better sense of the original environment."Taken as part of the new proposal to reconstruct the historic street pattern on the Aud site and encourage more historically appropriate, smaller scale buildings, we support interpreting the Erie Canal and Main & Hamburg Canal this way. By next year, if everyone works hard and well, we'll have a fantastic, heritage-based foundation for new growth downtown." Additionally, the Outer Harbor and Buffalo River committees continue to meet and are formulating short term and long term goals for those areas.´ Fulfilling its commitment to hire the PPS, ECHDC has brought in representatives from the organization to facilitate a series of workshops, beginning this evening:
March 14th from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm: The Outer Harbor Location: Old First Ward Community Center 62 Republic St., Buffalo, NY, 14204 Tuesday, March 15th from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm: The Buffalo River District Location: Old First Ward Community Center 62 Republic St., Buffalo, NY, 14204 Tuesday, March 15th from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm: The Inner Harbor/Historic District Location: Erie County Naval and Military Park One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY 14202

Each workshop will include a 30 minute place making exercise on location, and participants are encouraged to dress appropriately and consider carpooling with other participants to the sites. ECHDC Chairman Jordan Levy hopes that the public will appreciate the agency¶s commitment to bringing tangible improvements to the waterfront. ³We are intent on moving forward in a positive direction, and providing the people of Western New York with the first class waterfront that they deserve.´ Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is a subsidiary agency of Empire State Development Corporation whose vision is to revitalize Western New York¶s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region¶s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty.

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Historic District Subcommittee Jordan Levy, Chair Richard Berger, Campaign for Greater Buffalo Bruno Cagliostro Henry Giorino Mark Goldman Peter Hunt, Hunt Real Estate Corp. Kath Konst, County of Erie Eric Lander, Canyon Research Southwest, Inc. Newell Nussbaumer, Buffalo Rising Christel Peacock Paul Redding Casmiro Rodriguez Lynda Schneekloth, University at Buffalo, School of Architecture & Planning Mike Schmand, Buffalo Place Catherine Schweitzer, The Baird Foundation Tim Tielman, Campaign for Greater Buffalo

Outer Harbor Subcommittee David Colligan, Chair Anthony Anderson, P.E., Great Lakes Water Sport Institute, Inc Alan Bedenko, Esq. Vince Connors Tucker Curtin Peter Demakos, Niagara Blower John Fell, City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning Don Finkle, RCR Yachts, Inc. Sergio Fornasiero Mark Goldman Marti Gorman Erin Heaney, Executive Director, Clean Air Coalition of WNY Bill Jones, CityView Construction Management Renata Kraft, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Scott McKee, Niagara Musky Association Laurence McMahon John Montaque Carl Montante, Jr., Uniland Development Bill Nowak Alan Oberst Marc Odien, WNYMedia.net Ronald. J. O'Mara, P.E., P.C. Consulting Engineers Jud Payne Anne Perry, ANPRA Architecture PLLC Alfred Price, UB Urban & Regional Planning David Stebbins, Buffalo Urban Development Corp. Pierre Wallinder

Buffalo River Subcommittee Julie Barrett O¶Neill, Chair Justin Booth, Green Options Buffalo William Breeser Ronald Chapin Timothy Delaney Lisa Dubois, General Mills Jessie Fisher, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER Erin Heaney, Clean Air Coalition of WNY Leanna Hefferman, Ellicott Development Co. Jill Jedlicka, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER Laura Kelly, Old First Ward Community Center William Novak Jackie O¶Bannon, Ellicott Development Co. Margaret Overdorf, Valley Community Association Carl Paladino Lorriane Pierro, Industrial Heritage Committee Daryl Rasuli Sam Savarino, Savarino Companies Erin Sharkey, Massachusetts Ave. Project Jim Simon, WNY Climate Action Steven Stepniak, City of Buffalo Gregory Stevens, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER Gerhardt Yaskow Greg Wisniewski, Friends of the Edward M. Cotter Rick Smith III, Rigidized Metals Jennifer Sepulveda, City of Buffalo, Office of Strategic Planning

Cultural Steering Committee Maureen Hurley, Chair Peter B. Dow, Chair Cindy Abbott-Letro, Buffalo Philharmonic Ted Bickford Melissa Brown, Erie County Historical Society Kevin Cottrell, Motherland Connexions Donna Fernandez, Buffalo Zoo Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitor¶s Bureau Duncan Hay, National Parks Service Paul Hogen, John R. Oishei Foundation Michael Kimmelberg, Seneca Nation Barbara Park-Leggett, Explore & More Children¶s Museum Thomas Mooney, Fourth Idea John S. Montague, Buffalo Maritime Center Mark Mortenson, Buffalo Museum of Science Christopher Schoepflin, USA Niagara Catherine Schweitzer, The Baird Foundation

Public Art Committee Jordan Levy, Chair Molly Donovan, The National Gallery of Art Sandra Q. Firmin, UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts Louis Grachos, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Richard Huntington Jean Knox