BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The final state-owned parcel of vacant land at Canalside is on its way to being transformed.

Further actions were taken Monday toward the redevelopment of the North Aud Block at Canalside, which took place at a meeting of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office announced.

Partners have been chosen to transform the vacant two-acre lot into mixed-use commercial, retail and residential spaces. Additionally, construction will advance on the $14.25 million Canalside Gateway Building, which will be the first structure built in the area.

Pennrose NY Developer LLC was selected as the preferred developer of the vacant lot. They will team up MSquared and the Westminster Economic Development Initiative to oversee the North Aud Block’s development.

“Canalside has become a destination location and catalyst for renewal of Buffalo’s historic waterfront, and redeveloping the North Aud Block will continue to write the Buffalo comeback story,” Hochul said in a release. “As we work to transform the Buffalo waterfront, this vacant parcel, the last of the state-owned parcels at Canalside, will boost the economy and create new spaces where residents and visitors will want to live, work and play.”

The North Aud Block site at Canalside, highlighted in red. (Courtesy: Google Maps)

The ECHDC Board approved the transfer of property to and from the City of Buffalo. In order to proceed with the North Aud Block projects, three small parcels will need to be transferred: two from the city to ECHDC, and one from ECHDC to the city. The land transfer will require Buffalo Common Council approval.

A construction contract was also awarded to Manning Squires Henning Company for the Canalside Gateway Building by the ECHDC Board, and the building’s design was approved.

The project involves a three-story structure at the northeast corner of the block with direct access from the canal towpath level. On the interior, it will include public restrooms, commercial space and a security office, and the top two floors will house ECHDC office space. Construction on the building is slated to begin in Spring 2023 and be completed in February 2025.

Alongside the Canalside Gateway Building and other mixed-used structures in the North Aud Block, a parking ramp with up to 450 spaces is also in the plans.

“The development of the North Aud Block will connect Canalside to Buffalo’s established business district and we couldn’t be more excited to move forward with a plan for this vacant land. We heard that visitors to Canalside want more amenities, and these projects will provide that, along with an authentic look and feel to this mixed-use, urban space,” Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia said.

You can view the renderings for the project below.

Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.