BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Can Bass Pro be lured back to Buffalo? That's one of the ideas floating around as new visions surface for Buffalo's waterfront.
As many of you know, Bass Pro cut bait on the project a month ago. Monday morning, waterfront planners toyed with the idea of asking the national retailer to reconsider after hearing some ideas the public brought forth in recent weeks.
Buffalo's Strategic Planner Brendan Mehaffy said, "Buffalonian's love to eat, drink and be entertained."
Mehaffy says one citizen summed it up like that, in responding to the mayor's "Canalside: Citizen Waterfront Forum." He and Mayor Byron Brown presented the findings to the Directors of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Board.
"45 percent said they want dining and shopping down at canal side, followed by 38 percent wanted entertainment and recreation," said Mehaffy.
Mayor Brown put out another public call for ideas shortly after Bass Pro bowed out on plans to become the anchor tenant at canal side. More than 850 citizens responded, offering more than 1,750 ideas.
Mayor Brown said, "Some kind of presence of fish and aquatic life is very interesting to the public."
As indicated by the mayor, many respondents called for a national retailer, a major fish attraction, and other components that would have been part of the Bass Pro project. That realization prompted ECHDC Board Member Larry Quinn to suggest to the mayor that he ask Bass Pro to reconsider.
"Lots of deals in the world go south and then get revived when people take a deep breath, and figure out what they lost," said Quinn.
The mayor responded, saying, "If a conversation like that could be revived and there'd be a decision made that would move things forward quickly, I think that could be sell-able to the public."
As for the public feedback? The waterfront planners welcomed the ideas, and will take time to study the results. At what point talks would possibly be rekindled with Bass Pro remains unclear. A spokesman for the retail giant told News 4 that the company has no comment at this time.
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