BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Despite a pending legal challenge, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation on Tuesday authorized construction contracts totaling $13 million to create a new outdoor events center at the south end of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.
Since, 1967, the metal framed warehouse known as Terminal B has been used for storage on a prime piece of waterfront land, on the south end of the Outer Harbor not far from the Small Boat Harbor. Now the shell of that building is going to be opened up and transformed into an amphitheater which could host up to 8,000 people. It’s a $13 million project which will begin this fall and open in two years.
Three months ago, environmental groups filed a legal suit to oppose the development. “The ECHDC is treating the Outer Harbor as an entertainment space when it should be thought of as a habitat in the remaking,” said Sarah Schultz, Sierra Club Niagara Group in late June.
The group also opposed the fact that more than 50 trees will have to come down. But Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation President Steven Ranalli says they’ll plant a hundred and fifty new ones.
“We have been in the planning stages for five years, we’ve worked with all these groups. Quite frankly, we’ve even received the idea to move the amphitheater site which was originally sited up closer to the old Pier Restaurant site. These environmental groups were the ones that suggested it be relocated down to Terminal B,” said Ranalli. “This is just the first development in a series of things that we’ll see the Outer Harbor amplified over time.”
Construction is expected to begin this fall and conclude by September of 2023. Javen Construction Company is contracted for $7,365,000 of the work. Union Concrete and Construction Corporation is expected to conduct site work in the amount of $3,964. Frey Electric is contracted for $1,440,600.