Just over a month ago, we shared our latest project in collaboration with National Grid and University at Buffalo Regional Institute, the Riverbend Area – Infrastructure Needs Assessment (RAINA).
Since then, we’ve been hard at work gathering data from stakeholders in the project area.
The first step in the outreach process involved isolating the project area and developing a survey to send to all of the developers and business owners in the area.
Over the past few weeks, we have received a substantial amount of feedback from survey participants, and have started to gain insight into what the most important needs are for this quickly growing area.
This complex process requires teamwork and cooperation to get all relevant parties on board. We have met with stakeholders, as well as utility and infrastructure groups, such as the NFTA, National Fuel, telecommunication companies, the Department of Transportation and several others, to share information about the project.
On September 23, Governor Cuomo was in town for the official groundbreaking at the Riverbend site and announced the creation of 3,000 permanent jobs for this one million square-foot solar panel manufacturing facility.
This massive facility will require major infrastructure upgrades and will lead to many spin-off developments in the area, which is precisely why we are conducting this Needs Assessment.
With so much about to happen in this area, it is essential that we are smart about development in order to ensure the long-term success of our city.
The next step in this project will be to send all the data to UBRI to be compiled so that they can create a “heat map” of where development is primed to occur, and where utility upgrades are most needed.
This will involve a stakeholder forum (to be held at the end of the month) in which all parties involved will be able to convene and view the data before the assessment is finalized.
We look forward to continued collaboration with the parties on this project, and are very excited to see the developments of the Riverbend Area take shape.