Mark Goldman & the Waterfront

15 Nov

In a taped video message, local developer and activist Mark Gold man says, “We need to let the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp know that we have deep reservations about their plan to spend in excess of $40 m. to build faux canals and a parking ramp on the Inner Harbor. And we need to let them know by Monday Nov 15th, their decision day.”

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12 Responses to “Mark Goldman & the Waterfront”

  1. mamacrat November 15, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    Can you get me up to speed? 1. There is a plan and 2. it’s a parking garage?

  2. BobbyCat November 15, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    This plan to spend all this money building a parking garage and fake canals sounds crazy. With Bass Pro out, what is their justification? If this Harbor Commission represents the people of Buffalo why won’t they justify their decision in the media? Why do they take such a low profile? If their idea is that another big box retailer will come along and will need a parking facility, they should make that argument to the citizens of Buffalo. If Mr. Goldman can make his (persuasive) argument on video, why can’t the EC Harbor Commission? Is Mr. Levy camera shy? Is there something to hide?

  3. Brian Castner November 15, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    We’re so “all or nothing” around here. Is it too much to ask for an advocate or leader to say that some of this is good, while also saying some is bad? I don’t know about fake canals, but the underground parking is a tremendous idea. Parking is a necessary evil, and underground is better than surface or ramps. This is the one time to do it, while the hole is dug. So put in a couple layers of underground parking now, and it will help draw business above it. Everyone complains that ECHDC is trying to get a silver bullet all at once, and the “new” new plan is just to lay infrastructure and cobble the streets and see what happens. Underground parking is the best basic infrastructure they could lay.

  4. Brian November 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I hate to say it, but I agree with the other Brian. Absent decent public transportation down there, we’re gonna have to put the cars somewhere, and underground is a lot better than above.

    I was recently reminiscing about “The Flats” in Cleveland, geographically not so different from our waterfront. I had a hell of a time there. The East flats have kinda gone belly up because of some drownings and some bar brawls and such, but the West flats are doing OK–mixed use, etc. I’d like to see the waterfront put up for sale with, say, a five acre maximum lot. Am I dumb?

  5. Hank November 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Underground parking in a city like Buffalo makes a lot of sense. The Demise of surface parking could be in the offing.
    All I care about is SOMEONE does SOMETHING before the 75th Anniversary of the Skyway. The first 50 years have shown us bupkus except for a lot of people who do studies getting rich, and Higgins getting lauded for nothing.

  6. jhorn November 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    bobby cat- because the echdc is NOT about the city or people of Buffalo. It’s about keeping the money in their developer buddies’ hands. It’s why Bass Pro got first bite at the apple (Johnny Morris, Bass Pro CEO and the Riches are next-door neighbors in fla.). It’s why echdc threw themselves at ikea immediately after Bass Pro fell over. It’s why Jordan Levy revealed that he has at least TEN potential big-box anchors to woo and will continue to do so despite the public’s loud and long rejection of Mr. Levy’s “vision”.

  7. JohnnyWalker November 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    jhorn. Let’s cut the crap criticizing the Riches. They have remained loyal to Buffalo and maintain their worlds hq’s in Buffalo with over 600 HQ jobs located in the city. How many jobs have you created?

  8. BobbyCat November 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    I’d bet a dollar that most city residents don’t know anything about the ECHDC, who’s on the board, whats their qualifications are, what their plans are, their general philosophy about waterfront development etc. I know that ‘blue ribbon’ panels often consist of rich people who don’t know much outside of their fields. Is that the case here? Has Mrs. Rich or Mr. Quinn done waterfront development ? Who are the waterfront pros and what projects have they done? Or am I the only one that doesn’t know?

  9. jhorn November 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    jw- this has nothing to do with job creation or the rich’s putative loyalty to Buffalo. It’s just to illustrate why this particular board headed in the direction it did and why it will continue in the same direction as long as it’s allowed.

  10. Buffalo Rude November 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    18,000+ people park in that neighborhood 41 times a year. There is more than ample parking. But hey, maybe a few acres of asphalt will look nice with the giant concrete bridge in the background.

  11. BobbyCat November 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Another thought. If underground parking is built, no doubt at great expense, then the Benderson big-box model will be a fait accompli. Someone will say “We MUST have a big box retailer because we spent all that money on parking”.

    I understand that Benderson has been working closely with ECHDC and that they moved much of its operation to Florida. It seems that the Harbor people are hell-bent on big retailing. Aren’t there other options? Shopping till you drop might be alive and well around Naples-Fort Myers but its dead as a carp in these parts. When Benderson’s only tool is a big-box hammer, every project looks like a nail. What’s the rush to build underground parking ?

  12. Brian Castner November 15, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    @ Rude: Yes, they do. On giant surface lots that make up the bulk of the fake “Cobblestone District.” If you’d like to fill in the surface lots, with HSBC buildings for instance, then underground lots to fill in a hole that already exists helps.

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