Feb. 10--Plans for developing the South Aud Block portion of Canalside -- where a replica of the Erie Barge Canal is being built -- are advancing into the design stage. The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. on Monday approved a $2.1 million contract for design and engineering work on a proposed restaurant, children's museum and mixed-use facility on the block.
The state agency approved a contract with Fontanese Folts Aurbrecht Ernst for architectural and engineering services on the one-acre block, where plans call for a new Explore & More Children's Museum, a three-story restaurant building, a mixed-use facility that could include apartments and retail space, and a "comfort station" building with restrooms and storage. In all, those four buildings will take up about 100,000 square feet of space.
"The Canalside project is now entering the next phase of development and with guidance from these design consultants on the South Aud Block, we are confident in the direction our waterfront is heading," agency Chairman Robert Gioia said. "Today, we are taking the first steps toward an exciting future for Western New York on the South Aud Block." The state agency, part of the Empire State Development Corp., also extended its contract with the master architect for the project -- Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn -- for 30 months, for a maximum of $236,000.
The firm is a Perkins Eastman Co. subsidiary known as EEK. It has been the lead site plan designer for all of Canalside since 2006, providing an overall design, proposed programming and public spaces, schematics and images. Its contract -- which has been expanded over time with additional services -- is currently capped at $5.1 million.
The contract extension will cover fees and direct expenses over 30 months from March 2014 through September 2016, enabling it to continue overseeing the work of architects, engineers and contractors.
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