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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. Names New President


Mark Wendel has been named the new president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. Wendel will lead the state entity that supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside and the Outer Harbor in Buffalo and work to attract critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. The ECHDC Board of Directors met Tuesday and appointed Wendel as president of the corporation.

A Western New York native, Wendel is a registered architect with experience in urban planning, design, and economic development. He has been an employee of the corporation since 2019 and succeeds Steve Ranalli, who earlier this year was named President of the Erie County Stadium Corporation.   

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation President Mark Wendel said, “I am excited to continue the development projects and improve waterfront access for the public at both Canalside and the Outer Harbor. Steve did a wonderful job continuing to create both locations as a family destination and I look forward to working with Governor Hochul to build on that success.”

“Mark Wendel is a dedicated public servant and Western New Yorker with the talent, experience, and commitment to bring our vision for the region to life,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “With Mark on board at ECHDC, we’re ready to take Buffalo’s waterfront to the next level as a destination for residents and visitors and a catalyst for economic development. I look forward working with him and ECHDC as we continue to break ground, transform the waterfront, and boost the local economy as part of our mission to drive the region forward.”

Prior to taking on his new role with ECHDC, Wendel served for four years as the corporation’s Senior Director of Design. Since March, he has assisted with overall day-to-day oversight and management of all projects and initiatives within ECHDC’s 450 acres of waterfront property. Wendel also regularly coordinates on broader efforts across Western New York, contributing and assisting on concurrent initiatives of Empire State Development’s Western New York Regional Office and  ESD’s USA Niagara Development Corporation subsidiary.

During his ECHDC tenure, Wendel’s key accomplishments have included construction of the Longshed Building, completion of the Buffalo Heritage Carousel, oversight of the design and construction of the Gateway Building at Canalside, and procurement and selection of a preferred developer for the North Aud Block.  He has also managed several components in the continued redevelopment of the Outer Harbor, including the adaptive reuse of Terminal B, Bell Slip Improvements, and Wilkeson Point upgrades.  He is currently managing the potential development of the Terminal A building, the redevelopment of the North Aud Block, and planning for a subsequent phase of Outer Harbor redevelopment.

Before joining ECHDC, Wendel worked as an associate principal at Flynn Battaglia Architects, PC. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has earned U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification. 

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