Plan released for transformation of North Aud Block at Buffalo’s Canalside

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New York Construction Report staff writer

The final state-owned parcel of vacant land at Canalside is on its way to being transformed.

Pennrose NY Developer LLC was selected as the preferred developer of the vacant lot. They will team up MSquared and the Westminster Economic Development Initiative to oversee the North Aud Block’s development Governor Kathy Hochul announced.

The project includes building a three-story masonry and steel frame structure at the northeast corner of the Commercial Slip, with direct access from the canal towpath level. Interior space will include public restrooms, an ADA-accessible route from street level to the tow path, commercial space and a security office.

The building’s design follows recommendations of the Canalside Design Review Committee, a group of five registered architects and landscape architects.

Also, Pennrose NY Developer LLC was selected as the preferred developer of the North Aud Block. Pennrose, located in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a national leader in the development and operation of market-rate, mixed-income, and mixed-use communities. Pennrose is currently working with the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority on redeveloping the nearby Perry Projects and has teamed with MSquared, a women-owned and managed social impact real estate company, and the Westminster Economic Development Initiative.

Construction is set to begin in spring 2023 and be completed by February 2025.

“Canalside has become a destination location and catalyst for renewal of Buffalo’s historic waterfront, and redeveloping the North Aud Block will continue to write the Buffalo comeback story,” Governor Hochul said. “As we work to transform the Buffalo waterfront, this vacant parcel, the last of the state-owned parcels at Canalside, will boost the economy and create new spaces where residents and visitors will want to live, work and play.”

In January 2022, the ECHDC Board adopted a plan for the North Aud Block with a transformation of the nearly two-acre vacant parcel for a mix of commercial, retail and residential uses in several buildings that would reflect portions of the original 19th Century street grid. It includes 425,000 square feet of development space and up to 450 parking spaces in a structured ramp.

The plan also includes Canalside Gateway Building,” a multi-story, state-funded structure that will allow the ECHDC to manage site operations from a location within Canalside. The remainder of the North Aud Block will be dedicated to mixed-use development.

“The development of the North Aud Block will connect Canalside to Buffalo’s established business district and we couldn’t be more excited to move forward with a plan for this vacant land,” said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia. “We heard that visitors to Canalside want more amenities, and these projects will provide that, along with an authentic look and feel to this mixed-use, urban space.”

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