Keep stadium, condos away from outer harbor

As the time for public comment regarding the use of the outer harbor is looming, we can only wonder how much importance our voices will be given versus those in the development community. (According to The News, we get a grand total of six hours of input). Hopefully, all of the people and groups who have honed their skills fighting to reinvent while protecting Buffalo will band together with forward-thinking business leaders to realize a vibrant outer harbor shouldn’t include condos or a stadium.

Why? In addition to new business coming to downtown, we desperately need new residents. It is in the long-term interest for developers to make downtown a really vibrant place to live. Future generations of Buffalonians will be much more interested in a waterfront that includes diverse areas to congregate for fun activities and relaxation while including small authentic businesses. The creativity displayed in the harbor development will be crucial in attracting and retaining young people to live and work downtown. Imagine an extra 30,000 to 40,000 residents drawn, in part, by easy access to a “new” outer harbor.

We can make Buffalo the “destination city” of the 21st century. Whatever is done will determine Buffalo’s identity long past our lifetimes, so let’s get it right. We can always add more, if necessary. It’s much harder to get rid of mistakes.

So let’s rebuild, renovate and redevelop the heck out of what already exists. Turn Seneca Tower into million-dollar condos, but leave what little is still green green.

Endless entertainment projects could include playgrounds for children and adults, a large dog park, a formal garden, food truck space galore and, most importantly, a lot of wasted space. One commercial project making sense would be an all-weather cultural events center – think the Hollywood Bowl with a retractable roof.

David Hendrich