The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) has approved has approved a series of contracts that include a market study for cruise ships, Erie Canal Bicentennial Visitor Experience, and Winter Storm Elliott restorations.
The ECHDC board has approved contracts for the following:
A cruise ship industry market demand study
Erie Canal Bicentennial visitor experience
Emergency maintenance and restoration services on the Outer Harbor
“Governor Hochul and ECHDC have spearheaded revitalization projects along Buffalo’s waterfront that have demonstrated the success of New York State’s strategic placemaking investments,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The actions taken today build on that renewal and will lead to additional visitors, capitalize on Buffalo’s history and support year-round activities.”
The approval for the cruise ship industry market demand study came about due to a what the ECHDC says is a “recent overall resurgence in passenger cruise ship demand.” In 2017, we discussed some of the potential opportunities that Buffalo was missing out on, as cruise ships opted to bypass the city. Other cities that take advantage of the Great Lakes cruise ship market include Detroit, Cleveland and Toronto. There is no reason that Buffalo should not be included in this growing tourism industry, which would have a significant positive impact on the waterfront.
In order to move the needle forward, the ECHDC has entered into a contract with M&N Engineering, DPC to conduct a cruise ship industry market study, to the tune of (not to exceed $217,387).
M&N’s scope of work will include:
Establishing a comprehensive understanding of the current state and future prospects of the Buffalo/Niagara region’s Great Lakes cruise ship industry
Creating a Buffalo/Niagara region strategy to guide the development of a successful cruise ship industry on the Great Lakes
Identify and detail the needed infrastructure improvements for a Buffalo homeport and the Buffalo/Niagara region’s cruise ship ports and port attractions
Determine economic development benefits to construct a permanent cruise terminal using two scenarios (new construction at Michigan Pier and rehabilitation of DL&W Terminal)
As for authorizing a contract to enhance the Erie Canal Bicentennial Visitor Experience, New York State design firm, Local Projects, has been retained to “design, fabricate, install and service several indoor and outdoor experiences at Canalside for world-class experiences specific to Buffalo and its history with the Erie Canal.” Associated team members include Hadley Exhibits (Buffalo-based), Tillostson Design Lighting (WBE, NYS-based), Zenith Systems, My Active Driveway (MBE, NYS-based) and/or (WBE, NYS-based), and Loyal Kaspar (NYS-based). The contract amount with Local Projects is not to exceed $1,012,000.
Finally, the ECHDC Board has approved a contract with NW Contracting for emergency maintenance and restoration services at the Outer Harbor related to Winter Storm Elliott. The work is primarily needed at locations along a 2-mile stretch of shoreline known as the Greenbelt Trail and Bell Slip, as well as at the Bike Ferry Landing, according to the ECHDC. The contract amount with NW Contracting is not to exceed $602,644.
Funding for all these contracts is from the New York Power Authority, through relicensing agreements tied to the operation of the Niagara Power Project.
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