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By Erich Weyant
May 2, 2011, 14:08
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The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors directed agency staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the site of the former Donovan State Office Building at a meeting held today. The RFP will be issued on May 2, 2011 and submissions are due by June 30, 2011.

ECHDC acquired the Donovan Building in 2008. At that time, it was anticipated that the building would be demolished to make the site ready for development under the terms of a 2007 non-binding Pre-Development Agreement with Benderson Development, LLC. Since that time, ECHDC has determined that the best use of the Donovan Building is adaptive reuse. ECHDC has invested approximately $7 million in remediation to date, including the removal of harmful materials and interior demolishment. As a result of these remediation efforts and the soundness of the building’s underlying structure, ECHDC believes that the site has significant potential for redevelopment.

The Donovan Site is located at 125 Main Street and will be divided into three separate parcels, D1, D2 and D3 (see attached parcel plan.) The RFP seeks development proposals for the D1 and D2 parcels. ECHDC is considering plans to develop the D3 parcel as public space.

Proposals must be consistent with the overall policies and design guidelines of the Canal Side Project, as outlined in the Modified General Project Plan (MGPP), and with the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) adopted by the ECHDC Board in January 2010. The goal of the Canal Side project is to transform the Inner Harbor into a vibrant, urban, mixed-use, year round setting that includes public, cultural, commercial, and residential uses. The design guidelines ensure that architectural elements celebrate and interpret the historical significance of the Erie Canal and its terminus, according to the terms of the 2004 Erie Canal Harbor Master Plan.

Submissions are due at 5 p.m. on June 30, 2011 and will be reviewed by a selection committee designated by ECHDC staff for completeness and compliance with the terms of the RFP. Criteria used to evaluate and rank proposals will include: the quality of the development plan and its integration into the overall Canal Side Project, the amount of the purchase offer or lease payment, the ability of the developer to complete its proposal and the overall economic impact of the proposal. Staff will issue a recommendation to the ECHDC Board in July 2011 for selection of the preferred developer of the property.

ECHDC’s non-discrimination and affirmative action policy will apply to the preferred developer, who will agree to use its best efforts to achieve: a) not less than 25 percent New York State certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) contractor or subcontractor participation during the development of the project, which includes the pre-construction, construction and operation-maintenance phases; and b) an overall goal of 30 percent minority and female workforce participation during construction. M/WBE companies are encouraged to respond.

In addition, in order to promote local hiring in the district, the preferred developer and tenants with more than 30 employees are encouraged to:

§ use the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and other local job placement centers for all job recruiting purposes to identify local residents for employment consideration;

§ give an identified workforce agency (e.g., WIB, Buffalo Employment & Training Center) at least ten business days to refer appropriate City residents for employment consideration before filling the position;

§ provide an indentified workforce development agency with criteria to screen qualified candidates for all job positions;

§ participate in workforce development agency workshops as related to employment opportunities in the project area; and

§ send a representative to all job fairs sponsored by local workforce development agencies.

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 Corp.
95 Perry St., Suite 500
Buffalo, NY 14203
716.846.8262 fax


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