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Weighing in on the future of Buffalo's Outer Harbor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Western New Yorkers are getting a say about how they want their waterfront to look.

Transforming Buffalo's Outer Harbor is part of the Buffalo Billion.

Almost 180 acres of land will be transformed into recreational space, creating public access for everyone.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation presented plans Monday night for three different areas of the Outer Harbor. The areas include: First Buffalo River Marina, Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip and Terminal B.

All three areas have three options on the table.

For instance, First Buffalo River Marina could see amenities such as a beach, seasonal restaurants, marina slips and walking trails.

"We like seeing the boats in the water or the boats on the land, it really reminds us that this is a waterfront we're looking at," said Buffalo resident, Tim Tielman.

Wilkeson Pointe may see a more open concept with boardwalks, a kayak launch and Times Beach Nature Preserve.

"Well we like more habitat and one of the places we like it is at Wilkeson Pointe Park. They're creating buffers there for the nature preserve rather than just recreational space and we like that a lot," said Jay Burney, founder of the Outer Harbor Coalition, a community group.

Terminal B has even more recreational opportunities with plans to include a mountain bike track, lawn space for big events, an outdoor amphitheater and more.

"There's a small community of us, of kite surfers and windsurfers, but we really think there's got to be a little space for us," said Ron Lemmon, Amherst resident.

Developers learned from the first open house that people did not want to see housing or skyscrapers at the Outer Harbor, which is not included in the current proposals.

"The waterfront is one of our biggest assets in Buffalo so we have to do something to entice people to come down here," said Tina Croom, resident of Buffalo.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation will take Monday night's feedback from the second open house to help narrow down the proposals to one for each of the three locations.

The next open house seeking community input will be in the Spring of 2019.

To give your feedback on the proposals, click here.


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