Groundbreaking held for new Outer Harbor event pavilion, despite protests

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The eye-catching scenery of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor could soon be accompanied by the musical refrains of the BPO.

State and local officials broke ground for a new event center on the waterfront on Tuesday.

The project is turning something very old into something new.

“Terminal B” is a massive relic of Buffalo’s glory days as an industrial hub on Lake Erie. It’s a massive warehouse, more than 50 years old.

If all goes as planned, it is in for an “extreme makeover” into an entertainment pavilion on Buffalo’s waterfront.

The groundbreaking for the $13 million project turned out to be a break out – which is what harbor development officials plan to do with the old warehouse, destined to become Buffalo’s newest entertainment venue – all the walls are coming down.

100,000 sq. ft. of warehouse will be opened up to form an amphitheater for concerts and other entertainment.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s project sits on a former 7 acre landfill that is getting new landscaping, replacing invasive plant species with native varieties. It will be able to seat 8,000 spectators.

But a short distance away from the groundbreaking, protesters gathered. Many of them were from groups who are suing to stop the project because of the damage it could do to the waterfront’s natural habitat.

Groups that filed the lawsuit claim state and city officials failed to sufficiently research what ecological damage the amphitheater might cause.

State development officials are looking to open the pavilion by the fall of 2023.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.

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