FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2004
Schumer To Host Buffalo Officials In NYC Friday To Discuss New Model For Buffalo's Outer Harbor Revival
Schumer will bring delegation of local leaders to New York City to view Manhattan’s Battery Park City (BPC); Project can be model for blending Buffalo waterfront's natural resources, proximity to downtown business districts, and open spaces
Schumer helped deliver $5 million to pave the way for better access and more development at the Outer Harbor
US Senator Charles Schumer Friday will host a delegation of Buffalo elected and economic development officials at Battery Park City in Manhattan on Friday to discuss how the Battery Park City project can serve as a model for Buffalo's outer harbor redevelopment efforts. Schumer and the Buffalo officials will meet with the Battery Park City authority and tour the site of the Battery Park City project.
"A Buffalo version of Battery Park City would have this area buzzing with activity," Schumer said. "Property values would climb, businesses would boom, and people would finally be able to enjoy the waterfront. If Manhattan can do it, Buffalo can too, and there is no reason Western New Yorkers shouldn't have the same thing."
In January, Schumer visited Buffalo's outer harbor waterfront to outline a plan to use Battery Park City as a model of mixed-use development for Buffalo to follow. Battery Park City, which was developed on fill from the World Trade Center construction project, has been a highly successful example of mixed commercial, residential and recreational development. Public access and expansive green space are hallmarks of the Battery Park City plan.
Battery Park City (BPC) is a planned community in southwestern Manhattan of 92 acres, nearly 30 of which are permanently protected open space. The development of the site, which was built on a landfill comprised of the fill from the World Trade Center's construction, has raised property values in the surrounding area dramatically. The development consists of five main sections, four of which are primarily residential, as well as the World Financial Center section, which is composed of 4 large buildings, and houses several major corporations, shopping centers and various performing arts productions. In addition to being the site of Stuyvesant High School, a top-notch public school, BPC is broken down into:
• 42% residential housing (nearly 14,000 housing units); • 30% designated open space (which includes public parks and plazas); • 19% designated for streets and avenues; • and the remaining 9% for commercial use (much of which is located within the confines of the World Financial Center).
To develop Battery Park City, streets and sidewalks were returned to grade level and made an extension of Manhattan´s grid (as had been done in all earlier landfill expansions of lower Manhattan). This created conventional development blocks, which, in turn, led to conventional building forms. Each block could be parceled out to different developers at different times, according to market demand. Because the plan was more a framework for development than a fixed design, there was a great deal of flexibility in actual execution and that has served as a basis to bring a diversity of uses, buildings and parks to Battery Park City.
Schumer said that Battery Park City has created a workable model for Buffalo because the majority of the property adjacent to the Hudson River is designated for public use, which is operated by the BPC Conservancy. In addition, Schumer said, the creation of a new authority to oversee the Outer Harbor development in Buffalo may not be necessary, if lead entities such as the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Erie County Economic Development Agency, New York State and the City of Buffalo can agree on an overall development strategy.
Joining Schumer will be Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello, New York State Assemblyman Brian Higgins, Erie County Legislator Mark Schroeder, and Representatives from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.