Wilkeson Pointe Improvements Project at the Outer Harbor

For years, Wilkeson Pointe at the Outer Harbor has been a magical waterfront destination. While much of the park has been an idyllic setting for visitors, there was a large swath of land that was completely underutilized. Now, that sprawling parcel (approximate 7-acre site, the area between the Wilkeson Pointe water edge and the nearby Fuhrmann Boulevard entrance) is being dug up in advance of a number of park amenities/infrastructure being added that will change the face of Wilkeson Pointe. Funding for this project is from the New York Power Authority (NYPA), via relicensing agreements from the operation of the Niagara Power Project. The park is currently closed as construction is underway. It will reopen in the spring of 2025.

“Since it was created in 2013, Wilkeson Pointe has become a favorite place to enjoy beautiful harbor views and sunsets while walking or biking the paths, going for a paddle or savoring a cool drink at the beer garden,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “Governor Hochul’s push to advance funding for this project means that residents and newcomers alike will soon benefit from improved access and experiences while visiting this waterfront destination.”

Project plans include:

Further visitor safety measures, such as moving parking away from the water and at a distance from the site’s pedestrian trail.

A new food service building will  also include restrooms and storage for the operations management team

The new outdoor seating area either on the patio or within a beach setting

The site’s existing trails will be relocated and elevated near the water’s edge

All new utilities will be brought to the new building and site through the adjacent site from Fuhrmann Boulevard

The landscaping within the site will be improved with the planting of natural species, creating meadows, grasslands, and pollinator fields.

Considering the Outer Harbor as a whole, it would be nice to see the wooden chair swings near the Bell Slip returned to their frames. The frames are still standing, but the swings were removed during the pandemic, and were never replaced. It will also be nice to see Times Beach (next to Wilkeson Pointe) fully restored. A few years back, it was announced that $10 million was being earmarked to fix up the boardwalks that were damaged by a number of winter storms. The funding also includes the restoration of the breakwall that protects the walkways.

The missing swings near Bell Slip (a little thing)… the busted up boardwalk at Times Beach (a big thing)… these are all parts of the big picture when it comes to fully realizing the true potential of the Outer Harbor.

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