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City seeks proposals to improve Canalside waterfront public space

by Jonathan Epstein
Thu, Aug 18th 2022 02:00 pm

City officials are looking for new ideas on ways to spruce up Buffalo's downtown waterfront area. 

With the redevelopment Canalside – as well as significant private-sector investment and public infrastructure improvements – city officials now want to ensure better connections between that area and both downtown Buffalo and surrounding neighborhoods.

So the Office of Strategic Planning and the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. are asking for proposals for a "planning-level feasibility and conceptual design study," that would explore potential streetscape and "public realm improvements" to strengthen those links, according to the request-for-proposals issued Tuesday.

Those could include "public spaces, multi-modal transportation facilities, and connections between existing and upcoming waterfront development projects," and would "build upon planning initiatives that have taken place over the past two decades."

The request-for-proposals – which is part of the city's Race for Place initiative to make downtown Buffalo more attractive and appealing for residents and workers – focuses on the waterfront area stretching from Canalside and the adjacent Cobblestone District in the south to the revamped Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park to the north.

"The goal is to produce a master plan to improve connectivity, attractiveness, investment, and the overall quality of life for employees, residents and visitors," according to a statement from BUDC.

The four-month study will be funded through Empire State Development, with additional contributions from BUDC and the city, who will manage the project together.

Proposals are due by Sept. 9 at 4 p.m.