BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - News 4 has learned that Bass Pro has decided not to open a megastore in downtown Buffalo.
A letter also went out to Congressman Brian Higgins, who hadgiven
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation was notified byBass Pro President Jim Hagel that they would be withdrawing fromfurther consideration of Buffalo's waterfront development. Theofficial announcement came at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday. ErieCanal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Jordan Levy said heis, "thoroughly disappointed in the outcome that this is afailing," but added canal side remains a viable project forBuffalo's waterfront.
Levy said Bass Pro could not meet the timetable set byCongressman Brian Higgins, but Levy was awar eof the publicfrustration over the last nine years since Bass Pro was firstmentioned as a potential anchor tenant. Bass Pro had invested amillion dollars into this project.
Bass Pro sent a letter to Congressman Higgins on why they'repulli ng out of Buffalo. >> Read it here
Executive Director of Leasing for Benderson DevelopmentCorporation, Eric Recoon, said one of the problems leading to BassPro pulling out was that negotiations made their way into thepublic view, which he said became "toxic" for Bass Pro'sparticipations. He said the deal starts fresh today.
Levy said there are ten potential retailers that have beenidentified who could become anchor tenants for the project and thatBuffalo will make presentiations to these retailers in the daysahead. Levy added that he asumes that a recent lawsuit claiming theuse of public funds for Bass Pro was illegal will now be withdrawnsince Bass Pro is pulling out. Levy stressed that the project needsan anchor to make the overall project come together and bring thewaterfront alive. Throughout the news conference, Levy stressedthat the project will continue on and that canal side will help todefine Buffalo's economic future.
Grant Loomis from Erie County Executive Chris Collins staffissued this statement:“The County Executive is disappointedBass Pro has decided not to be a part of the Canal Side project,but he is very confident the leadership of the Erie Canal HarborDevelopment Corporation will be successful in attracting anothernoteworthy anchor tenant. The County Executive believes Canal Sidewill be a transformational project for Buffalo and all of ErieCounty.”
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