Proposals in for Webster Block
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gail Moorhouse grew up near the Erie Canal Harbor.
"My playground was Main Street. This place was lit up like a Christmas Tree all the time," she said
She's seen a lot change here over the years.
"I can still recognize it. I mean you've still got the Skyway. You've still got the apartments over here," she said.
Moorhouse said she's a fan of the recent wave of development in the area but doesn't see a need for more on the Webster Block.
"I'd like to see it kept as a parking lot because of the people who use it. I mean, most of the people, they're working around here and it's inexpensive parking," she said.
But others said the city is wise to develop on the prime real estate.
"Buffalo is a city that was really designed to be a downtown city, and the more that happened to make Buffalo a downtown city, the better," Willard Brooks said.
The Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning announced Wednesday three companies have submitted plans for the Webster Block.
"We've got developers, individuals with track records that responded here. That's great for the city of Buffalo," Executive Director Brendan Mahaffy said.
They are the Ellicott Development Company, founded by former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, the Buffalo Sabres ownership and T.R. Browning Architect.
"What the city of Buffalo has been looking for is something that's going to build on and compliment the development that's been happening at Canalside," Mahaffy said.
While the city wouldn't get specific about what's in the proposals, Paladino has said he would like to put in a luxury hotel as well as boutiques.
Moorhouse said if something must be built there, she wants to see it utilized.
"If they want to put, like shops or something in, if the shops are going to draw the people in, because there's nothing on Main Street. There's no stores," she said.
The city plans to choose a proposal in August.