Pier Restaurant Building to be Razed
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced the start of activity to raze the former Pier Restaurant building on the outer harbor to clear the way for continued progress toward the conclusion of the Environmental Restoration Outer Harbor Greenbelt Program.
In attendance today to initiate the demolition process were Rep. Brian M. Higgins; NFTA Commissioner, Peter G. Demakos, Chairman of the NFTA’s Property/Risk Management Committee; NFTA Executive Director, Lawrence M. Meckler along with NFTA staff, in addition to representatives from the state Department of Conservation.
Demolition of the deteriorating structure begins today and is expected to be completed in November. When finished, the property will be level and landscaped with grass to coincide with the ongoing shoreline restoration project. Pinto Construction Services, Inc. of Buffalo, NY, the lowest of seven bidders is performing the demolition and landscaping work at a cost of $89,966.
Peter G. Demakos, Chairman of the NFTA’s Property/Risk Management Committee said, “Today’s action helps create a positive transition from the past, leading toward a bright future of outer harbor development that already includes the restoration and stabilization of Lake Erie shoreline, in addition to the creation of a greenbelt along the shoreline for public use and enjoyment.”
“Step-by-step we are transforming our waterfront from a desolate, unattractive and inaccessible site into a real destination where local families and tourists can enjoy the natural beauty unique to Western New York,” said Congressman Higgins. “These developments will create a whole new lakeshore experience for the public next year and ongoing progress will lead to new waterfront related economic opportunities.”
DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder said, "This is another important and positive step for this project's progress, and we look forward to continuing to being a part in the revitalization of Buffalo’s outer harbor."
The facility located at 325 Fuhrmann Blvd. opened in 1989 as Shooters Waterfront Café. It closed in 1992 and reopened that same year as The Pier. It operated as The Pier until it closed in 2000. From 2002 until its final closing in 2005, the facility operated as the Festival Grounds at The Pier, playing host to ethnic music festivals and private parties.
Outer Harbor Greenbelt Project
Dramatic improvements are presently being made along approximately 6,600 feet of Lake Erie shoreline starting at the former Pier Restaurant, south around the Bell Slip and ending at Terminal B of Buffalo’s port facilities. The project is a $14 million Environmental Restoration Outer Harbor Greenbelt Program that commenced work in September 2006 and will be completed in the spring of 2008. Enhancements include:
- Creation of a paved recreational path for public use along the shoreline for joggers, walkers, bikers, etc.
- Landscaping to include native plants to attract local wildlife and provide an improved natural setting
- Construction of a shallow-water fish habitat along the shoreline within the existing embayment known as the Bell Slip
- Replacement of the shoreline embankment with an engineered heavy stone to minimize erosion
Funding for this project is primarily through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Restoration Program under the New York State 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. The ERP provides financial assistance to local governments for cleanup and restoritation of brownfield sites.
“The brownfield project when completed next spring, will have transformed a once industrial and fallow area into a clean and scenic recreational path that will provide green space and waterfront access for the community to enjoy,” Demakos added.