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ECHDC & Our Projects
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is a subsidiary of Empire State Development and was created to spearhead the city of Buffalo’s waterfront redevelopment effort. ECHDC’s mission is to revitalize Buffalo’s inner and outer harbor areas and restore economic growth to Western New York, based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty.

ECHDC’s activities are governed by an active Board of Directors, made up of many of Western New York’s most prominent business figures. In addition, the Chairman & CEO of Empire State Development participates on the Board of Directors as a non-voting member.

Since its foundation in 2005, ECHDC has taken an aggressive approach to waterfront redevelopment, resulting in significant progress over a very short amount of time.
For instance, the Corporation recently completed work on the
$53 million Erie Canal Harbor Redevelopment Project, which revitalized 12.5 acres of idle waterfront space into a contemporary downtown tourist destination.

This project incorporates many historic elements of the original Erie Canal and celebrates Buffalo’s role as the important western terminus of this modern engineering marvel.

In addition, ECHDC has been instrumental in advancing the overall “Canal Side” project, which focuses on developing 23 acres of Buffalo’s inner harbor lands for public, commercial, residential and other mixed-uses. This redevelopment effort includes several substantial construction projects, including reclamation, asbestos remediation and demolition of the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium ("Aud"), as well as reclamation, asbestos remediation and refurbishment of the General Donovan State Office Building, which are both situation on the proposed “Canal Side” site.

Recent ECHDC activity regarding Buffalo’s outer harbor has mainly focused on securing several of the area’s largest land parcels, in order to transform these lots into park space, and also prepare them for eventual redevelopment.
The Corporation recently finalized an agreement with Cargill, Inc. to purchase a seven acre parcel located directly next to the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) ice boom storage site.

In addition, ECHDC is focused on reestablishing access between the inner and out harbor areas, As a result, the Corporation is helping spearhead the Buffalo Harbor Bridge Study, which seeks to determine possible locations and structure options for a rapid access vehicle and pedestrian connector between the inner and outer harbor. This study is being funded through a partnership between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Empire State Development (ESD).

In 2007, with the help of the Governor’s office and many other key elected officials, ECHDC struck a

historic agreement with the New York Power Authority under the Niagara Power Project Re-Licensing
process. This agreement provides a steady stream of funds to the Corporation, at the tune of $3.5 million per year, for the next 50 years.