BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The transition of the old Aud site to a new waterfront tourist destination is getting a second look from the public. When will the critical vote roll in?
This is a defining moment in time for the Aud block. The public has two more weeks to share ideas with waterfront planners, who are anxious to move forward.
When the old Aud came down, Bass Pro was still on the drawing board. Now, the Aud site, without Bass Pro in the picture, is being prepared for an underground parking garage for 172 cars and a series of public canals and walkways. But there are voices calling for a change of course.
Sam Magavern of the Partnership for the Public Good said, "We feel that it's barreling down the tracks toward a destination that still called Bass Pro, even though Bass Pro isn't there anymore, and we think that radical revisions will be necessary."
Plans for paddle boats are already being replaced by barge replicas from the era, but some say the whole site should better reflect the footprint of Buffalo's original Erie Canal District.
Tim Tielman of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo said, "So as to reconstruct as much as the pre-1927 conditions as possible."
Erie County Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Jordan Levy said, "The fact of the matter is, we want to listen to what people have to say before we make a thoughtful and intelligent decision."
Those in favor of building the underground parking garage point out anything can be built on top of it at ground level.
Erie County Harbor Development Corporation President Tom Dee said, "Whether it's the Central Library that goes on top, whether it's a museum that goes on top, whether it's a water park, we can do anything."
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown added, "I certainly think if a retailer came along and said that they wanted to be the anchor, they wanted to be the anchor, they wanted to make a substantial investment, we would have to consider it."
A new series of open house sessions will begin Wednesday, held at the offices of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation at 95 Perry Street, Suite 500. Open house times are as follows:
Nov. 17 - 2-4 p.m.
Nov. 18 - 5-7 p.m.
Nov. 19 - 2-4 p.m.
Nov. 22 - 10-12 p.m.
Nov. 23 - 5-7 p.m.
Nov. 24 - 10-12 p.m.
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