Governor Cuomo Announces East Canal Project in Buffalo Now Open to the Public

Mark Grisanti

December 18, 2013

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the ribbon was cut on the $5 million East Canal project in Buffalo,
signifying its on-schedule completion and that the public space stretching
between Washington and Main streets is now open to the public. It is the latest
component of the Canalside development on Buffalo’s waterfront.

“Every day, we are making more progress in the transformation of Buffalo’s waterfront and today, the Erie
Canal project is complete,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project preserves public
access to the waterfront, with a new outdoor space for locals and visitors to
enjoy, and it also serves as a catalyst for private investment and development.
It has been completed on budget and on schedule, just in time for the holidays,
and I encourage New Yorkers to come see and celebrate the new East

“I was here when this project broke ground just eight months ago and today I’m so pleased to hear the
project is complete, complementing the continuing progress being made at
Canalside,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy. “The people of Western New
York have demanded public access and the state delivered by creating this
beautiful urban destination that will attract additional development to the
surrounding area. Governor Cuomo has placed an extraordinary emphasis on
Buffalo’s revitalization and we are now seeing the results.”

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation-driven East Canal project creates an outdoor public space that features
a granite plaza, a shallow pool of water, fountains, seating, lighting and a
shaded tree grove. It is located just south of One Canalside – the former
Donovan State Office Building – where a ribbon cutting was recently held for the
upper four stories occupied by Phillips Lytle, the second largest law firm in
Buffalo. The lower four floors of One Canalside will open this spring as a
Courtyard by Marriott. Next to the East Canal will be further private investment
possibilities between One Canalside and HARBORCenter

The third annual ECHDC waterfront holiday celebration will be held at the East Canal on December 20 and 21. A 30-foot holiday tree and holiday landscaping will be featured, along with music and programming inside heated
tents, food trucks and a visit from Santa. For more information, visit

“Although the East Canal represents just one component of the overall Canalside project, it is a critical one that depicts Buffalo’s
historic canals and lays the foundation for our future,” said Erie Canal Harbor
Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia. “This year-round activity space,
which was once blighted and underutilized, is now open to the people of Western
New York and visitors. I especially invite you take part in our holiday
celebration December 20 through 21 at the new East Canal.”

Canalside has attracted more than $200 million in private investment that continues to grow within the district, which includes
the renovation of One Canalside, the construction of HARBORCenter, as well as
numerous small local businesses. The East Canal is located next to One
Canalside, where Benderson Development is nearly complete on its $30 million
project to renovate the former Donovan State Office Building.

With a total contract amount of $5,764,180, Mark Cerrone Inc. constructed the canals and associated features
on time and on budget. The funding source for the contract was proceeds payable
to ECHDC pursuant to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Industrial Incentive
Agreement. EE&K, a Perkins Eastman company (,was the
project’s master architect. LiRo was the construction manager. C&S Engineers
was awarded a contract from ECHDC for design services in November of 2012.
Through the design phase, C&S had numerous meetings with the City of Buffalo
and the Buffalo Sewer Authority.

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “In 2006 we stood up with and for Western New York and fought for a fair relicensing agreement for this
community from the New York Power Authority. It is that $279 million settlement
that funded this project and so many others that continue to reshape the
waterfront that many doubted would ever see progress in our lifetime. The East
Canals represent the latest step forward in Buffalo looking within to find
success rather than seeking an outsider to shape our destiny. This particular
site pulls together our Erie Canal history with our region’s future as it
neighbors the exciting private sector development at One Canalside and
HARBORCenter and gives the public yet another reason to visit our waterfront.

Senator Mark Grisanti said: “The East Canal project is another sign of significant progress in the ongoing
development of Buffalo’s waterfront. We are improving the ability of the public
to have access to the waterfront while at the same time strongly encouraging
private investment that will benefit Western New York’s economy. We are meeting
the goals of revitalization and reinvestment that is setting the stage for even
more progress in the future.”

Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes said: “The holiday season is not only a time for family and holiday cheer, but a chance to
reflect on the progress of the year. The celebration of the opening of the East
Canal to the public, will allow families to enjoy the holiday tree, and
festivities that we look forward to during this time. It also signifies how much
Buffalo can and will continue to turn blighted and underutilized spaces into
public gems for the enjoyment of Western New York residents and visitors. Much
thanks and congratulations to President Dee and Chairman Gioia on this beautiful

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said: “Canalside’s continuing renaissance takes a big step
forward with the completion of the East Canal project, a year-round addition
that will draw even more visitors to this historic district. I encourage
everyone to take some time during this holiday season to come to Canalside and
enjoy this great mix of history and contemporary planning in the heart of
downtown Buffalo.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said: “It’s exciting to see the continued and steady
progress at Canalside and along Buffalo’s waterfront. Today I thank Governor
Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy for their ongoing confidence in Buffalo.
This new East Canal project will create good jobs and all sorts of new
opportunities for city residents, while drawing more visitors to Buffalo’s
re-energized waterfront.”