BUFFALO, N.Y. -As 2 On Your Side told you first, an official announcement was made Friday afternoon that the nine year attempt to lure the outdoor giant to the Buffalo waterfront is dead.
Jordan Levy, Chairman of the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation says that the group has come too far to let the possibility of Canal development to slip by, and he assured the public that they will continue to move forward.
Levy could not present a clear answer as to why the project had been killed.
"In six weeks, the project has taken a life of its own," Levy said. He went on to talk about the fact that since the project's ups and downs played out in public, it made the project somewhat toxic.
He also pointed to "small pockets of people" who were key players in pushing the project out of town, many of them involved in the recent lawsuit.
When asked if Congressman Brian Higgins was one of those people, Levy said no. He said that no one has worked harder than Congressman Higgins to get the project into Buffalo. All Higgins did was lay out a timetable for the retailer, Levy said, since he felt like it was time to either get the project moving forward or find someone else.
There was no specific plan discussed at the press conference as to the future of the project. Levy did say that all the funding and resources are in place to keep to project moving forward.
"I'd be lying if I said that there was a tangible Plan B," Levy said.
According to Levy, the front office of Benderson Development has identified 10 possible new "anchors" for the waterfront and they plan to personally visit all of them in the near future about stepping into Bass Pro's spot.
Earlier this week, 2 On Your Side released the results of a scientific study done by Survey U.S.A. that showed a majority of the 500 Erie County residents asked oppose the proposed project.