Canal Side: Joint Recommendations

18 Nov

Brian, Chris, and I have formulated our joint recommendations for what should happen to Canal Side now that Bass Pro is long gone for the Yukon. You can read it here.

5 Responses to “Canal Side: Joint Recommendations”

  1. Hank November 18, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Read the post on Brian’s blog. I’ve always thought Brian was the Juan Williams of WNYmedia.net, you know “we’re fair and balanced”. But I believe Brian to be a stand up kind of guy that there used to be many thousands of in WNY. Conversely, I often times think that Chris and Alan are Liberal Robots, though when it comes to local and state issues, there’s much more that we agree on than what we don’t.

    The post on Brian’s blog shows that all 3 of the writers truly love and care for where they live, as much as I love and care for where I don’t live, but would like to again someday. I saw no anger or snark in any of what was written, and much of the history of the non-development of the waterfront is spot on. I sincerely hope that the powers that be listen to the opinons expressed, and take them to heart. As long as there are people like Alan Chris and Brian who are willing to put their ideas out there, there is still hope. The kind that will hopefully put a plug in both the “debate it to death” drain and the “Fail Drain”

  2. Andrew Kulyk November 18, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Gents all three of you have framed some excellent recommendations and points and WNYMedia has consistently been a good steward and advocate for the buildout of the harbors.

    But the underlying problem here is there is an increasingly shrill and obstinant pushback from a noisy minority of allegedly do-gooder obstructionists, who want to see NOTHING happen. They demonize the ECHDC commissioners like they are villains, make up buzzwords like “faux canals”, as if replicating the ambience and energy of what they have in places like San Antonio, Ottawa or Oklahoma City would somehow be a bad thing. Regrettably, they have captured the top of the hill in the PR war. They have Osmonde pontificating in the News twice a week, they have this coalition of 40 faith based groups that they claim speak for all of us. The possible result will be inertia, failure, and windswept barren lots and a muddy hole in the ground for as far in the future as we can see.

    I’ve seen this all before. Back in 1988 I took my seat as a rookie Councilman in Cheektowaga, and a developer named Pyramid was at our doorstep, laying out a vision and plans for a state of the art, 1.2-million square foot shopping mall to be built in the heart of Cheektowaga. I was excited. Not only would the Town benefit from claiming the epcienter of retail vitality for this region, but it would change the image of our little corner of the world from taverns, bowling alleys and kiszka into something special and dynamic.

    The pushback from a small sector of the community was immediate, and it was fierce. Just like the names “Tielman, Fisher, Goldman” roll of the tongue today, the names “Giese, Regent, Isbrandt, Nader” were the leaders of the anti mall crowd then. Today’s “Coalition of 40- Faith Based Groups” was then named “Citizens Task Force Opposed To Another Mall.” These people stirred up the masses with their predictions of Biblical flooding, of traffic snarls, environmental cataclysms, of financial catastrophe to the town’s two other shopping centers (Thruway Mall and Appletree Mall, both since remade into prosperous commercial centers) children’s teeth rotting from buying sweets at the mall’s food court, planes crashing into the crowded mall as they approach the airport runway on a dark and rainy night. The public hearings were rancorous, sign waving crowds of “no no no”. And yes, there were threats of violence put forth towards any public official who dared to stem the tide and offer reasonable words of support for the project.

    The difference between then and now is that you had a well heeled and deep pocketed developer (Pyramid), who had withstood this same sort of avalanche of naysayers in other venues. They were able to get this done. In the case of Canalside, there is a vacuum in terms of the private sector developer with the wherewithal to make the vision happen. So if this is going to happen, we need government ( a la Higgins and a guy like Kennedy providing the Federal/State one-two punch) to say damn the torpedoes and get the bridges built, the canals installed, the other infrastructure improvements and use their mojo to attract the private sector interest.

    Make no mistake though, this cabal of “no” will be fighting, obfuscating and obstructing every step of the way. If we are to see anything good happen in our lifetimes, sadly we will have to battle our very own fellow citizens to get it done. But the end result was we got it done in Cheektowaga. The freaks and macadamias disappeared into their spider holes and out came the throngs of shoppers and visitors from Canada and spinoff development which have helped the town prosper. As a new downtown resident who has made a sizable investment in buying a home here, fingers crossed that reason and broad, dynamic vision vanquishes the haters and the crazies,

  3. Hapklein November 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    What saddens me about this entire review process in Western New York is the lack of authentic review and comprehensive verification of the process. Development is constantly interrupted and instead of a step by step development we have frequent gaps in time and the lack of sequence give an air of separate projects.
    Public hearings and meetings gather information and the results are rarely incorporated into a single body of development. I was just reading some complaints from concerned people in Youngstown who identify this problem.
    The proponents of many projects feel public gatherings are opportunities for them to announce their own progress on a project rather than allow the public interest to help develop that progress.
    Andrew points up another effect element of these projects the noisy impact of well meaning uninformed groups, the cabals of No, to organize and change. We then have results like the heavy underground transit rail system. The true enemies of the project just did not understand it or understood it too well and whipped up a public frenzy that succeeded in changing its route, nature and drove up costs to a point that never allow a fulfillment of purpose.
    I attended some of the Study Committee meetings of that project and I was astounded at the lack of knowledge by many of the most vociferous members.
    I could be that we just have weak proponents for these things who just cannot steer the public and the public interest into a common path.
    Take the Peace Bridge….

  4. Ed Kane November 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    I had no idea that the Galleria Mall made our community “special and dynamic”! Who knew that adding a Cheesecake Factory would be the answer.

  5. jhorn November 20, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    andrew- what’s so freaky and macadamian about opposing a plan that was/is a failure from the start and that the majority of the community was against almost from the start? who are the obstructionists- the goldmans, etc. who have put imaginative alternatives out there and have an actual track record implementing some of these alternative ideas or echdc who, well-intentioned though they may be, shows every inclination to pursue the failed big-box anchor store paradigm until they run out of potential clients?

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