6/14/2010Posted by MJ
Does a “small” business person have a prayer of landing a piece of Canal Street?This is the highest profile section of street along the Canal in Lockport. The biggest issue here is the city's lack of a plan for the street. If there was a plan in place it wouldn't matter if there were separate entities or one trying to develop the block. Though with the money needed to finish each building and create in-fill to make it successful, I'd say a large developer and their money is needed.
A few who’ve tried believe they do not, especially once a bigger entity like inLighten or, now, Ulrich Development Corp., enters the picture.
But the city’s development arm says they are not playing favorites and will consider all offers currently on the table....
I've mentioned the current draw backs:
-No thru traffic in a pedestrian light area.
-Only two or three street level store fronts separated by almost a city block.
-No continuous street frontage to draw pedestrians down it.
-No plan to ensure it has the best chance of drawing people year round to make it viable.
This should be a signature project. Anything less will sell the street and the city short. It should one-up Ulrich City Center and pick up on what was missed over there. Offer tax-breaks etc to offset the investment needed in exchange for a mixed-use development that should set the precedent for future development downtown while showing visitors a progressive city. Invite successful developers from Buffalo and Rochester to sell them on the opportunity and then bid on it. No one bids well enough, increase the incentives and repeat...