BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo is re-imagining a bright future for the brownfields of a past industrial age. The waterfront is already seeing changes and people in the community are liking the way things are headed.
Not long ago, big corporations dominated the city's beautiful backdrop and city leaders are leaning on the community to determine the waterfront's future.
"Now we're saying, with the variables that we have in place, what would you like to see? How would you like to see this filled in?" Buffalo City Planning Director Brendan Mehaffy said.
City planners have come up with three scenarios for the inner and outer harbors.
Mehaffy explained, "Do people want to see more park space? Do they want to see the residential? Do they want to see an invasion campus that we are talking about tonight?"
Buffalo resident Valencia Sease weighed in, saying, "Really I want to make sure that there is complete public access. I don't want to see all of a sudden everything become private property or have everything destined for some big commercial application."
West Seneca resident Bob Bliemeister added, "I was in Baltimore a few weeks ago and they had this neat spot where by the harbor and they had some jugglers, some different kind of entertainment. It looked like it was going on all the time. I don't know if the city could afford to do something like that, but it was neat."
Alan Oberst of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation said, "A community like Buffalo, when you have a weak market city and you have a city that's seen a lot of dis-investment and population loss ,what you can't afford is you can't afford to not utilize your assets. And the outer harbor is a huge asset for the community."
City officials will use information they received from the public Tuesday night to revise their plans. More sessions are planned for this fall.
So when could we start to see these changes implemented?
Mehaffy said, "Some could be in the next year or two. Others are going to be a little further down the line as we address some of the environmental issues or some of the transportation access issues."
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