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ECHDC response on East Canal design… “Not so fast”

Yesterday on Artvoice Daily, we reported on the latest changes regarding an Inner Harbor development parcel labeled the “East Canal”. This plot of land at Canalside is located at the south end of the old Donovan Building site, now renamed One Canalside, and is framed along the south border by Scott Street.

As depicted in the MGPP, the land was envisioned to contain an extension of the replica canals currently under construction in the Aud Block, and be buttressed with a future structure, which would sit between One Canalside to the north and the planned Harbor Center to the south on the Webster Block.

Yesterday Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Tom Dee announced that the canal extension had been scrapped in favor of a reflecting pool and associated greenspace. The assumption that was then made by us, based on the information provided, that the proposed development parcel labeled as “D2” would also be modified to now incorporate green space as opposed to a new building.

Chris Ostrander at Two In The Box ran a similar story almost simultaneously with ours, more or less throwing arms up in the air and asking what the heck is going on here.

Well… not so fast.

Today the ECHDC released this announcement, and also released the above rendering depicting the East Canal area immediately adjacent to One Canalside.

Below you will see a rendering of what the East Canal environment is going to look like in front of the Donovan Office Building (currently being renovated by Benderson Development).

The rendering is looking at the canal from Main Street (you can see the Buffalo News building in the background).

The D2 parcel on the right is STILL reserved for private development, the building rendering there is simply an idea of what could appear there once developed.

We point out the emphasis on the word “still”.

So we just want to give props to Tom Dee and his team for clarifying this matter for us and for the public, as well as releasing this rendering almost immediately as a proactive response. It’s good to see that their agency is continuing to put forth development concepts that are consistent with a dynamic and exciting waterfront Inner Harbor. Judging from the many comments posted to their Facebook page regarding the rendering, the feedback seems to be universally positive.