"'Even if your governments are stressed, your economy can still function quite well,' Nordquist said. 'You have to figure out how to regenerate your real estate market. That's what built the city in the first place.' Prime real estate is downtown and on the waterfront. The key to the waterfront is to connect it to downtown, to turn expressways into boulevards, to build bridges connecting downtown to the virtual frontier of the outer harbor lying just across the Buffalo River. 'You separated your downtown from the lake with that (Skyway),' Nordquist said. 'We took our (elevated freeway) down and replaced it with a boulevard, and the waterfront real estate values shot up.' We're frayed at the edges, but have good bones - the basics to build on: A downtown of great buildings. A waterfront of vast potential. Great commercial/residential strips on Elmwood, Hertel and in suburban villages, the kind that towns across America try to recreate. 'There's a depression people feel here,' Nordquist said, 'that isn't justified to the level that people feel it.' We have what it takes. And with Brian Higgins in Congress, we have somebody in the right place who knows what it will take. Higgins jump-started waterfront development with Gallagher Beach. He wants to build bridges and boulevards to reconnect downtown to the waterfront. It worked in Milwaukee. It can work here. "1. Rip down the skyway and replace it with a drawbridge or tunnel 2. Cut & cover the elevated I-190 from about the Niagara Street exit to past Oak & Elm. By doing that, you reconnect downtown with the waterfront, and open up new land, and new opportunities.
Edmonde hits it today
He nails it. Please go read his column this instant. The former Mayor of Milwaukee came to town last week and told us that we're not nearly as bad off as we think we are. He knows - he's been there, done that.