ECHDC Initiates Plans on the Outer Harbor and Broadens its Search for Public Art
By Erich Weyant
Nov 17, 2011, 11:29
Remediation work on the Outer Harbor will open up new public access; Public Art Group seeks an “iconic” work for the Aud Block
The board of directors of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today provided authorization to enter into an agreement with LiRo Engineers Inc. to determine the appropriate remediation measures necessary to make an area on the Outer Harbor shovel ready and accessible to the public. The area, which includes a parcel formerly owned by Cargill Inc. and the former storage site for the New York Power Authority’s ice boom, has environmental issues due to the material that was originally used to reclaim the parcels, including harbor dredging, construction and demolition debris. It is ECHDC’s intent to ultimately combine the parcels and promote their redevelopment for non-industrial uses.
“We are excited to be moving forward on the Outer Harbor,” said ECHDC Chairman Jordan Levy. “We hope to duplicate the successes that we have already achieved on the Inner Harbor with Canalside, and to open up new waterfront access to the public.”
On September 19, 2011, ECHDC issued a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) seeking to retain an architectural engineering firm or team with specific experience in architecture and engineering. A total of three bids were received by the October 11, 2011 submission date, and a selection committee consisting of ECHDC employees reviewed the proposals based upon the following factors:
▪ Demonstrated experience in completing projects of a similar nature
▪ Ability to successfully complete projects of this type on schedule and within budget
▪ Cost of consultant services
LiRo Engineers Inc. was determined to have met all of the criteria and will receive an amount not to exceed $272,312 plus a 20 percent contingency for design and engineering services with respect to the outer harbor property.
ECHDC requires contractors to use good faith effort to achieve a Minority Owned Business Enterprise participation goal of 20 percent and a Women Owned Business Enterprise participation goal of 5 percent. These contract goals will be a percentage of total expenditures made pursuant to this contract, including but not limited to, purchase orders, invoices and other payments made in the performance of this contract.
ESD staff has determined that the action, which involves engineering design that does not commit the Corporation to undertake any project, constitutes a Type II action as defined by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) and the implementing regulations for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Consequently, no further environmental review is required in connection with the project.
In other news, the ECHDC Public Art Advisory Group today announced that it will re-open the procurement process for public art, in order to generate submissions for an iconic artwork that will grace the new public spaces being developed on the “Aud Block” (former location of the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium) on Buffalo’s historic waterfront.
“Great public art can be as important to shaping the identity of a place as the landscape or the architecture,” said Louis Grachos, chair of the Public Art Advisory Group. “And we felt that by broadening the scope, we increase the likelihood that our waterfront will be identified with a world-class work that visitors will seek out when they visit Buffalo.”
Based on the change of scope of the project, ECHDC will re-open the procurement process to the public in the near future. The process will be similar to the one that was initiated in September: three to five artists will be shortlisted based on their submitted qualifications and will receive a $10,000 stipend to develop a proposal for the new proposed locations. The goal of the procurement is to attract artists of international critical acclaim who have demonstrated the ability to design and implement large scale, complex, public art commissions. The official process will be announced in the upcoming months. Artists who are interested in submitting qualifications for the revised project will be asked to submit their qualifications.
The Canalside Art Advisory Committee members include: Louis Grachos, director, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Molly Donovan, curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Sandra Q. Firmin, curator, University of Buffalo Art Gallery; collector Michael Joseph; and Jordan Levy, chairman of ECHDC.
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is a subsidiary agency of Empire State Development Corporation whose vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty.
Erich Weyant | Assistant Director, Communications
Erie Canal Harbor Development
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