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Congressman Brian Higgins Reacts to Bass Pro Decision | News

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Congressman Brian Higgins Reacts to Bass Pro Decision
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BUFFALO, NY - Rep. Brian Higgins (D-South Buffalo) reacted with relief over Bass Pro's decision not to come to Buffalo.

"I find this liberating," Higgins told WGRZ-TV in an interview from Washington.

"It's been 9 years, ...and I don't think they were ever coming to Buffalo," Higgins said.

Earlier this month, Higgins set a deadline by publicly demanding that Bass Pro make a decision --one way or another-- about coming to Buffalo.

Asked if he believes his doing so influenced the company's decision not to come, Higgins replied, "I think it forced a decision. I don't think it forced the decision (not to come) but it forced a decision. And in the end we needed to have a decision."

Higgins says he was informed by Bass Pro of the decision and the company told him it was still too far apart in its lease negotiations with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to commit to the project.

Higgins says none of the millions of public dollars already committed to the project will be lost because of Brass Pro's decision not to come to Buffalo.

"This frees up $35 million of public money from which we can do more historic street scapes and build a new bridge to connect the inner and outer harbors and we don't have to put out a huge commitment of public dollars to a single private entity," he said.

Asked what the plan was now without an anchor tenant, Higgins insisted there were several alternative plans and that the Canalside project could proceed even without an anchor tenant.

"There's a plan B, a plan C, and a Plan D,... there's all kinds of alternatives," said Higgins, insisting that over 130 other businesses have expressed interest in locating in Canalside.

"It could be lots of little businesses, it could be lots of small organic businesses, or a place like Niagara-On-The-Lake which attracts millions of visitors due to its proximity to the water. We tied our waterfront development destiny to one project. But with or without Bass Pro, Buffalo has a waterfront to develop and we will develop this waterfront," Higgins said.

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