“Half Time for Long Shed Approvals in Buffalo”

Two steps down and two more to go for the planned Canalside Long Shed project.

Following the Jan. 14 mandated coastal consistency determination by the Buffalo Planning Board, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved some variances needed for the $4 million project promoted by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.

Now, the project goes back to the planning board on Jan. 28 for a site-plan public hearing and on Jan. 29 it goes to the Buffalo Common Council.

Pending approval from both the planning board and common council, construction bids could be issued by early February, said Steven Ranalli, ECHDC vice president of waterfront development.

A construction bid could be awarded by early spring and work may start by May.

It is estimated it will take one year to construct the nearly 6,000-square-foot timber frame building, designed to replicate an early 1800s harbor-like structure.

Designed by HHL Architects’ Matthew Meier, the building will house the replica 1825 packet boat that will be constructed under the auspices of the Buffalo Maritime Center. The boat replicates the canal vessel that Gov. DeWitt Clinton rode between New York City and Buffalo to mark the opening of the Erie Canal.

“We wanted that authentic Erie Canal-era building, both inside and out,” Ranalli said.

Once constructed, the boat will be berthed in the Commercial Slip and used for waterfront tours.

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