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Bass Pro Replies to Higgins

RE: Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World® Store, Buffalo, New York

Dear Congressman Higgins:

This is a response to your letter of July 19, 2010, regarding the proposed Buffalo, New York, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World® Store. We appreciate your interest and support for the Canal Side project in general, and our proposed store in particular.

Unfortunately, we cannot respond favorably to the lease draft forwarded to us by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation within the fourteen day time period you requested in your letter. There are numerous critical reasons for our position, including the fact that several major issues fundamental to the successful completion of the project remain unresolved.

We have in good faith expended significant time and invested well over one million dollars in working with ECHDC and many other supporters on due diligence and design, first with the Aud, and then with the current Canal Side master plan. We hope our efforts and suggestions prove to be beneficial to the project over the long term.

Congressman, we agree with you that this process has taken far too long as we have also tried to remain patient and positive toward the project as significant issues were identified that have caused repeated delays. You stated in your letter that the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation could proceed successfully with the Canal Side project without our involvement. We believe this approach would be in the best interests of all parties, and earlier today informed the ECHDC that we are withdrawing from further consideration of this development.

During our many visits to Buffalo we have come to appreciate the beauty and history of the Buffalo waterfront. We wish you and the ECHDC every success with the Canal Side project.


J.A. Hagale
Bass Pro, Inc.

  • Kevin

    Good riddance to Bass Pro! Now lets get Cabelas Outdoor Store in on the waterfront development and make Bass Pro regret their procrastination!

  • Joe V

    why not invite Cabela’s Sporting Goods, just as nice as Bass Pro

  • Peter A Reese

    OMG, Higgins has gone and lost us the only hope for the future of Western New York! What will we do? What will we do? The sky is falling!

  • linda

    Bass Pro would have destroyed the beauty and history of the waterfront!! Hoping there will be a waterfront to celebrate all the seasons, lots of green space.. would love to see Buffalo artists and photographers showing/selling their work and a place for folks to grab food for a picnic…so many possibilities that do not have to have the carnival atmosphere that ECHC tried to push down our throats ..

  • Rick

    Before Buffalo settles on the only consistent money-maker downtown (parking lots) let’s consider a performance venue on the scale of Artpark. The canal side pier is too small and there are no really attractive water-adjacent venues for large outdoor performances closer than Artpark. Not to rob Artpark of its audience, but it is far for most of us and driving is not getting cheaper. A partially covered, multi-use performance space could host the Lafayette Square Thursday and Buffalo Rocks The Harbor events, have semi-permanent facilities that would not require the expense of the temporary stages now used, and with some imagination hold space for year-round attractions such as displays and museums of the sort often discussed in these pages.
    Time and again Buffalo has proven it loves to get outdoors to musical events. Lets build on the momentum that has gotten people to come to the Canalside project. The traffic this generates will pump up demand for restaurants and bars and once people are downtown they’ll stay around. Picture the Hatch Shell in Boston or the Hollywood Bowl, right at the end of the light rail, with the arena, ball park, naval park, marina, and Cobblestone District (even the Seneca’s little casino) within walking distance of each other. That’s synergy. The Bendersons, Ciminellis, Paladinos, and their cohorts have (with few exceptions) repeatedly proven their lack of imagination. Let’s We The People continue to drive the Canalside development, keep the professional politicians and developers as far away from the conceptualizing as possible – let them execute our collective genius, not drive it. The big hole where the Aud was cannot languish like the waterfront has for the last half century.

    And it really is not hard to find parking downtown, today.

  • katydid

    Good riddance to Bass Pro. WNY does not like commercialism. The businesses that come and go are the chains especially the restaurants. Buffalo embraces what makes it unique. The same is needed for the Waterfront.

  • wny

    Brown Sucks. Glad it’s going to be an empty hole, that’s what Byron is….Anyone with visions of a “beautiful waterfront” is out of their mind. This town is a ghetto hole and will only get worse under the Brown Regime. Lying fucker will take every single thing he can now his little self centered agenda has fallen off the yellow brick road, he can’t clack his heels and get out of this mess. Maybe Bass Pro could set up shop to spray the blood spatter off the streets instead of paying firemen so much money to do such a menial task? Great job Byron you total blow hard lying fruit bat.

  • Josh

    I find the “in good faith” section troubling to say the least. No commercial project takes 10 years to come to fruition in good faith. Businesses would wither and die that way. Bass Pro wanted to see how much they could squeeze out of us and that was about it. My guess is they would fold within 5 years. “We made a go and it didn’t work b/c we have store in Toronto and Auburn. Oh well. But thanks for the millions of dollars!” Would be their refrain.

  • stoptheinsanity

    Keep an eye on Jordan Levey/Larry Quinn etc…he said in the TV interview that they (Benderson development)would continue to look for a new commercial “anchor” but they would no longer keep the public informed on who that may be….translation…I and my cohorts will continue to try and siphon off tens of millions of your tax dollars to our rich corporate friends who will then kick back to us and we will no longer let you know who we will choose to rob you citizens of Buffalo of YOUR tax dollars………