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Developers interested in waterfront's last parcels

Developers with an interest in filling in the final residential gaps in Buffalo's Waterfront Village will have another month to submit plans.

The city's Office of Strategic Planning has pushed back this Friday's deadline to Dec. 10, citing "strong interest" in the prime waterfront site in the Erie Basin Marina neighborhood.

"There's been strong interest, so we wanted to provide more time for proposals," said Melanie Gregg, marketing manager for the planning office.

The city is seeking a residential developer for two adjoining parcels totaling 2.4 acres off Lakefront Boulevard. In 2005, a Buffalo businessman came forward with plans for a $7 million, 12-unit residential project on the undeveloped, city-owned land, a proposal that evoked strong negative reaction from nearby residents.

The vacant land, located next to the Portside condominium complex, has long served as a informal city park for the neighborhood. Residents have raised concerns about the loss of that green space and potential blocking of water views.

This time around, the city has launched a formal "request for proposals" process, and emphasized that it wants to see plans that add residential density, but also show respect for the existing neighborhood.

As many as a half dozen development groups are expected to turn in blueprints for the sites at 240 and 260 Lakefront Boulevard.

The city is also making a last call for mixed use proposals to fill in a 1.5 acre site next to Shanghai Red's restaurant, on the opposite end of the marina neighborhood. The deadline is Friday for plans to develop city-owned parcels at 10 and 15 La Riviere Drive.


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