Sabres chosen to develop Webster Block
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Hockey season hasn't even started, and the Buffalo Sabres already have a win.
The city of Buffalo has chosen HARBORcenter Development, which is affiliated with the Sabres, as the preferred developer of the Webster Block.
"Very soon, right in the heart of downtown Buffalo, we will have a first-of-its kind facility in the United States of America," said Byron Brown, Buffalo's mayor.
The estimated $123 million HARBORcenter project will include a hotel, restaurant, retail space and two new ice rinks on top of a parking ramp.
"Buffalo's already known as hockey heaven, we'll have hockey in the heavens. And combined, the HARBORcenter and the First Niagara Center will form the only enclosed NHL campus that will have three sheets of ice," said Ted Black, president of the Buffalo Sabres.
The project is expected to create 1,500 construction jobs and 350 full-time jobs once it's complete.
"When we came here less than two years ago, we came here with two purposes: one was to win a Stanley Cup, and we're going to do everything we can to do that, but the second and equal purpose was to make a difference in the community," said Cliff Benson, chief development officer for the Sabres.
Mayor Brown says the city received two excellent proposals to develop the Webster Block, including one from Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development company. But in the end, he says they decided the Sabres' plan is the best for Buffalo.
"This is a transformational addition to downtown and the waterfront," said Brown.
Black says the Sabres are working with Buffalo-based New Era, to create a flagship store in HARBORcenter, and they're in the planning stages with Tim Horton's to create a franchise honoring the Sabres' history.
"We will do right by the city, we'll do right by our fans, and we'll make you proud, and even prouder to live in this wonderful city," said Black.
HARBORcenter Development will buy the land from the city for $2 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2013, and the majority of the project is expected to be complete in September 2014.