SBD/August 30, 2012/Facilities

Sabres Selected To Develop Downtown Buffalo Site Adjacent To First Niagara Center

The plan includes a 200-room hotel, a sports bar and retail space
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown yesterday announced the selection of the Sabres, team Owner Terry Pegula and HARBORcenter Development as the preferred developer of the Webster Block, a 1.7 acre city-owned site located directly across from First Niagara Center. The estimated $123M project includes two new ice rinks, a hotel, retail space, a restaurant and new parking structure (Sabres). In Buffalo, Jill Terreri notes the specifics of the plan include "a 965-space parking lot, a 200-room hotel, a sports bar and retail space." HARBORcenter is "in talks to include a New Era Cap Co. flagship store and a 'destination' Tim Hortons restaurant." Sabres President Ted Black said that the new development will "connect through an elevated walkway to First Niagara Center, making the three-rink complex the first of its kind in the National Hockey League." The venue is "planned to be a year-round destination for local and tournament skaters" and is "expected to draw 500,000 new visitors downtown annually." Black said, "We will not be an absentee landlord. We will do right by this city. We will do right by our fans." The Sabres will pay the city $2M for the parcel and "city residents will be sought for post-construction jobs." A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for March 1, and the rinks and parking ramps are "expected to be completed by September 2014, with the hotel opening in May 2015" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/30).
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