Governor Eliot Spitzer came to town on Wednesday, October 10, to join the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation in unveiling the latest plans for BassPro and the Inner Harbor. In the new iteration, BassPro's store returns to the site of Memorial Auditorium, as originally proposed, served by underground parking on site and surface parking beside Marine Drive Apartments. The 2004 master plan for the Inner Harbor, which ECHDC's critics said was compromised by earlier proposals to build BassPro along the Central Wharf, has been essentially restored, and the design standards mandated in the master plan are written into BassPro's development agreement. Benderson remains the single designated developer for all the surrounding parcels; BassPro is required to build a major-market facility, more like those in Toronto and Atlanta than the one in Auburn, New York; the subsidy to BassPro returns to $35 million; BassPro agrees to pay $600,000 per year in ground rent for the 20 years of its lease an improvement on $1 per year in the original proposal; a water feature traces the path of the original Erie Canal on the Aud site, connecting the Commercial and Prime slips and bringing the water to the BassPro shop.
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