Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul Makes Special Visit to Discuss Site Progress & Next Steps
FONDA – Montgomery County staff recently traveled to Buffalo to learn about several downtown redevelopment projects which have parallels to the Exit 29 site.
“The trip exceeded my expectations,” Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said. “We gained information which will help us move forward with the planning process, compile a master plan and begin envisioning what we would like to see on the site.”
County employees had a meeting with staff from New York’s Empire State Development team and Department of State officials where they discussed parallels between Buffalo’s Canalside project and potential uses at Exit 29. Canalside is a waterfront redevelopment project located in Buffalo’s downtown corridor. The site has become a year-round destination which incorporates restaurants, businesses, concert series as well as other outdoor recreational activities.
Vice President of Development for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. Steven P. Ranalli led a presentation on Canalside which explained the process and steps it took for the project to come to fruition. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul made a special appearance during the meeting and reviewed a site map of the Exit 29 project with Ossenfort.
“We were surprised and excited that the Lt. Governor came to our meeting, took interest in the Exit 29 site and the parallels between the waterfront redevelopment projects,” Ossenfort said.
Ranalli gave the Montgomery County team a tour of Canalside following his presentation. He highlighted different project areas and continued to explain the steps leading up to their redevelopment process.
Staff also toured Northland Central, which is a redeveloped historic vacant industrial complex. The site houses a Workforce Training Center which is expected to train over 300 local workers annually to fill machinery, transformer, and welding positions. ESD and members of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation led the tour.
“Our team has gained so much during this Buffalo trip and we plan to use the information we’ve learned to keep the momentum of the Exit 29 redevelopment site going,” Ossenfort said.