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Central Community Workshop

Downtown and West Village,
Inner Harbor and Outer Harbor

Downtown and West Village

Assets: Historic Architecture - City Hall, Market Arcade, The Mansion, churches, Electric Tower, Guarantee Building, Hotel Lafayette; new investment - housing development, 700 block of Main, Federal Court House, Avant, New Era; public places - dog park, Lafayette square, Niagara Square, Fountain Plaza, Johnson Park, LaSalle park, HSBC Arena, Coca-Cola Field, Central Library; Districts - Cobblestone, Theatre; local business - Pearl Street Brewery, Washington Market.

Strengths: Cobblestone district; Pearl in Theatre District; 700 block of Main; Genesee Gateway; West Village - Rabin, Whitney, Johnson, Tupper; Flower District; Edward from Delaware to Tupper; Cathedral Park; highway connections to the region.

Weaknesses: Oak - Elm Corridor; disinvestment along Niagara St.; buildings interrupting historic street grid; disinvestment along Main St.; gaps in storefronts; confusing traffic patterns; no retail; poor access to LaSalle Park; surface parking lots; speeding traffic on Church St; underutilized buildings - Statler, Main Place Mall.

New directions: Create more green space; reconnect disrupted street grid; encourage more retail development; continue residential development; infill surface parking; encourage more mixed-use with retail and services at street level; calm traffic - Church, Oak - Elm, Delaware; build a supermarket; develop more museums and tourist attractions.

Inner and Outer Harbor

Assets: Times Beach; Erie Canal Terminus; naval park, bike path; Erie Basin Marina; small boat harbor; Grain Elevators; views of the lake; lighthouse.

Strengths: Inner Harbor; active recreation - walking and biking paths; wildlife sanctuaries; concentration of grain elevators; waterfront village; marinas.

Weaknesses: Poor access to the waterfront - Erie St. from water to downtown, Route 5, I-190 and Skyway, lack of signage, confusing traffic pattern, unsafe for pedestrians; high-rise buildings out of character with waterfront.

New directions: Improve access to water; make Erie St. more pedestrian friendly; develop mixed-use in character with waterfront; reconnect the Inner and Outer harbor with a bridge; develop more formal green space along Outer Harbor.