We've been Duked, Really!

This could very easily be called be called "Save our City" from the elected and anointed running the show. Former Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski is one of the primary players in a drama that resulted in Duke Realty being handed 6.5 acres of ultra-prime city property right at the backdoor of City Hall.

I first wrote about this last week, Get Ready to "Duke" it Out...

August 4, 2005 4:15pm
Reliable sources tell me...
This is turning out to be more significant information than I originally thought. I mean, Duke Realty is clearly in the land-banking business. 4400 acres in metro areas all over the country. There is a New York state law that forbids the selling of public land to private parties who intend to maintatin it for speculative purposes. Stilllooking into the effect of the law with regard to so-called interim uses, covering up clearly speculative intents, like the surface parking lot or the mere "daycare center" which likely will never be built. This issue not only applies to 43 Carolina, but also the parcel next to their 1400-car parking ramp they say they'll use for a "surface parking lot." It was explained to me that Duke Now wants this lot set aside for visitors, which begs the question, why wouldn't they simply use the parking ramp, which will be Free, is just as convenient, and is sheltered from the weather?

A high ranking BURA official says... "Why should we care if Duke Realty wants to use it for speculation? It's none of our business."

Probably posting a FOIA request soon re: the Land Disposition Agreement (LDA)for 43 Carolina. They won't even send it to the Council. I had ___ request it almost two weeks ago. Oh, recently learned that Duke actually *doesn't* have the deed to the property yet, which is perhaps the reason BURA is stonewalling on the LDA as the deal is being finalized.
Here's the plan to radically alter the streetscape and urban fabric of Buffalo for generations to come. Scrapping a number of critical elements of the Queen City Hub Plan, that up untill a month ago embraced the re-connecting of Court Street, the new plan is to rape the streetscape with a cul-de-sac and a surface parking lot. Shown below in "yellow' the former Court Street was an essential component of Ellicott's radial street plan. It once connected to the river. Where is the review, public debate and opportunity to comment on this proposal? Mr. Gorski, where is the oversite? Is your compensation for Blue Cross Blue Shield Czar of Governmental Affairs tied to Duke Realty's completion of phase II - Developing 43 Carolina Street?
The "Rape" of Court Street
click to enlarge
Here's a glance down Court Street today, right behind City Hall.
Court Street, looking West
Court Street, looking west
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Here the other necessary photographs. #1 -Site of new Altanta style suburban office park. #2 Waterfront School and new terminus of Court Street in a cul-de-sac and surface parking-lot for 150 cars. #3 43 Carolina Street - 6.5 acres - transferred to Duke Realty with no public in-put!
New Home - Blue Cross Blue Shield Waterfront School 43 Carolina, Duke Realty Property
click to enlarge
As vast areas of Buffalo's east-side continue to be engulfed by the ever increasingly larger "urban prairie" our elected and anointed simply give away assests just sitting at their backdoor. No oversite or public debate. None.

No new jobs at this location. Just moving jobs from the city's east-side to a new office park. It's not tied in any meaningful way to the downtown core and decimated retail and restaurant district. 75% percent of the 1200 employees at Blue Cross Blue Shield are union employees. They are re-locating to this new Atlanta-style suburban office park and their contract stipulates between 30-45 minutes for lunch. Go figure. The entire day, downtown and no chance to set foot on a city sidewalk. Go figure.

Oh yeah...as part of the deal, the City of Buffalo is responsible for any future environmental remediation that may have to be completed when Duke Realty fully developes the property. There's a metaphor. The property is at the City Hall's back door...go figure...

And so it goes...
Related Post: 1300 Health Care Workers via BuffaloRising
Get Ready to Duke it Out via Fix Buffalo
Duke Realty (NYSE- DRE) shares closed down slightly on Monday at $33.10
Look at all the beautiful "suburban style" office parks Duke Realty has built.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
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