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Higgins marks formal transfer of Outer Harbor acreage

Rep. Brian Higgins said Monday he believes there could be development at Terminals A and B on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor by the end of the year or early next year.

Higgins, marking the formal transfer of 50 acres of land from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., said he’d like to see commercial mixed-use and residential development along additional public access to the waterfront as part of the project.

The land that once served as the Port of Buffalo, formally relinquished by the NFTA last week, contains two buildings that are physically solid structures that will attract “a lot of developer interest” and have great potential for development, said Higgins, D-Buffalo.

“If you really look at those buildings, the sight lines into the water; you could have parking at the lower level, all protected,” he said Monday morning near the parcel. “It really presents great opportunities, and there’s federal programs, New Markets Tax Credits, that could be used to help spur the development of Terminals A and B.”

The Fuhrmann Boulevard parcel, just north of the former Freezer Queen site and the Small Boat Harbor, had been under the control of the NFTA and its predecessor since 1957. The buildings, built in the 1930s, include 400,000 square feet of warehouse and office space, parking for 500 vehicles, high bay doors and rail and water access.

Later Monday morning, Erie Canal Harbor officials voted to accept the land at a cost of $3.5 million to be paid to the NFTA.