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Buffalo Outer Harbor

Thank you for your interest in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Visit this page often for information and news regarding the development of the Outer Harbor and the public planning process.

Arial view of inner and outer harbor.
Inner and outer harbor Outer harbor.
Photos by: Joe Cascio  

We want to hear from you!

If you have ideas, questions or comments, please share them with our Buffalo Outer Harbor planning team. We will do our best to respond to questions/comments within 24-48 hours. Email: OuterHarborInfo@esd.ny.gov

Outer Harbor Planning Process - Summary To-Date:

In September 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo presented his vision for a dramatic transformation of the City of Buffalo’s largely vacant Outer Harbor waterfront. This vision included the recent transfer of approximately 350 acres of waterfront land from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to the ECHDC, whose mission and resources will better enable it to support and expedite the land’s redevelopment.

  •  Approximately 190 acres of the transferred Outer Harbor land, including a small boat marina and a beach, form the new Buffalo Harbor State Park, the first state park in the City of Buffalo under the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).
  • The remaining, adjacent land was primarily unplanned, but was ultimately to feature mixed-use waterfront development under guiding principles established for the project by an advisory committee. The high-level guiding principles cover accessibility, diversity, planning and design, and financial sustainability and can be found at: http://eriecanalharbor.com/pdf/GuidingPrinciplesOuterHarbor.pdf.

In April 2014, ECHDC announced that the State was moving ahead on plans to redevelop and dramatically transform the soon-to-be-acquired state land holdings on the Outer Harbor into a vibrant and accessible waterfront for residents and tourists alike. ECHDC also announced the selection of Perkins+Will to lead the planning process that will lead to an action-oriented planning blueprint for the Outer Harbor in the fall.

Three public meetings were held on July 9, 10 and 12 in order to allow the community to listen, participate and share ideas to help shape the future of Buffalo’s waterfront. The meetings were well attended, drew a significant amount of publicity and provided an engaging, hands-on experience for attendees. Many key themes and takeaways arose over the course of the three meetings, which are detailed in this report.

Photos of ECHDC Public Outreach Meetings for Buffalo Outer Harbor Blueprint

Based on the public’s input, at the next two meetings held on August 6th, Perkins + Will prepared three development concepts for the Outer Harbor and asked for the community’s input again. Over 400 meeting participants were given a scorecard and asked to rate the three development concepts in eight categories/frameworks:

  1.  Framework 1: Access & Mobility: Ease of Movement
  2.  Framework 2: Open Space: Well-Loved Public Places
  3.  Framework 3: Ecology & Resiliency: Living Infrastructure
  4.  Framework 4: Health & Recreation: Healthy Living
  5.  Framework 5: Land Use: Diversity of Uses
  6.  Framework 6: Waterfront Culture: A Public Experience
  7.  Framework 7: Human Comfort: Responding to Climate
  8.  Framework 8: Views: Create & Enhance

The information gleaned from feedback at these meetings was used to create a draft concept plan.

On September 9th, the draft concept plan, which incorporated the community's most favored design strategies and features across the three approaches, was presented back to the community for additional input. Attendees were encouraged to make their final comments before they left, but were also offered the option to return them by Tuesday, September 16th to OuterHarborInfo@esd.ny.gov. In addition, the information that was presented at this meeting will be on display at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY until Tuesday, September 16th to allow the community members that were not able to attend the meeting, the opportunity review the draft concept plan. For more information about the meeting click here. click here.

Reports and Documents:

Press Releases

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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
95 Perry Street, Suite 500 | Buffalo, NY 14203-3030 | 716-846-8200 (ph) | 716-846-8262 (fax)
For more information, contact us at: eriecanalharbor@esd.ny.gov

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