SBD/June 22, 2012/Facilities

Sabres Propose Development Including Retail Space, Hotel Near First Niagara Center

Sabres' bid is one of three received by city for empty lot near First Niagara Center
The Sabres have proposed "building two indoor ice rinks, a hotel and other amenities as part of a plan to develop a prime piece of real estate," according to Jill Terreri of the BUFFALO NEWS. The bid, submitted by Sabres Owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, "is one of three the city received for redevelopment of a 1.7-acre city-owned parking lot on the Webster Block, which sits east of Main Street and just north of the Sabres’ home base at First Niagara Center." Team VP/Public & Community Relations Michael Gilbert said that the rinks would be "open for general skating and use by area hockey clubs and teams, and would not be a practice facility for the Sabres." The development would include "retail space and a sports bar on the ground level, a 900-space parking garage, two rinks above the garage and a full-service hotel with approximately 200 rooms." Gilbert said that the development is "expected to bring 500,000 people to the area annually." The city "hopes to select a developer by Aug. 15 and would like construction to begin next spring." Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning Exec Dir Brendan Mehaffy said that the city "will not release details of the proposals, though the winning bidder will have to go through a public approval process" (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/22).
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