BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Bass Pro is told to shape up, or ship out. Congressman BrianHiggins urged the mega retailer to make a move, or else.
Canalside planners had already reported that Bass Pro will besigning the lease in the next few weeks anyway, but Buffalo'sCongressman Brian Higgins is turning it into Bass Pro's lastchance.
Rep. Brian Higgins said, "We are going to have a greatwaterfront with or without Bass Pro. What they owe us, the onlything they owe us is a final decision so that we can move in a newdirection or work with them to build out Canalside."
That's why Monday night, Higgins transmitted a letter to thepresident and the CEO of Bass Pro telling them they have 14 days tosign the lease that's been sitting on their desks for two months.And if they don't, Higgins says he will insist that officials ofthe Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation proceed with theirinitiative without Bass Pro's involvement.
"Over 130 businesses from Buffalo and western New York haveexpressed an interest in locating in Canalside. We have many, manyoptions, but we shouldn't let our destiny to be determined byexternal influences over which we really have no control,"explained Higgins.
News 4 reached Bass Pro Spokesman Larry Whiteley Tuesdayafternoon, and regarding the Higgins letter, he says, "We will lookit over and we will have a decision one way or the other within thenext 14 days." Is Congressman Higgins surprised by theresponse?
"No I'm not because, George, really, it's been nine years. Thesuccess or failure of waterfront development is not contingent onwhether or not Bass pro is here. We have a waterfront. It will be aregional destination and I expect to be held accountable. You willsee over the next three years the waterfront evolve from its oldindustrial image, to one of vibrancy, excitement and optimism,"said Higgins.
If Bass Pro does sign the lease in the next two weeks, thetimeline is still for the store to be up and running in about twoyears from now.
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