(WBEN) City officials have officially transferred a large block of downtown Buffalo land to the Buffalo Sabres so they can pursue the development of two amateur hockey rinks, a hotel, and retail space on The Webster Block, across Perry Street from the First Niagara Center.
Documents to seal the $170 million deal-- and pay the city $2.2 million - were signed Friday, one week after the work on the site actually began.
More on the proposals,
from the City of Buffalo
Sabres’ Harbor Center Proposal
Webster Block Proposal Presentation
Friday's development is being viewed as the beginning of the end, Cliff Benson, chief development officer of the Buffalo Sabres, said during the signing ceremony.
"You look outside we've got equipment, fences, and people. We broke ground on March 1st, and short of an act of God, or an act of Congress, we're going to be ready on September 1( of 2014)," Benson said.
The team estimates the development will attract as many as 500,000 each year.
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The proposal includes about 15,000 sq. feet of stores split between parts of the development facing Scott Street and Main Street, adjacent to the HSBC Atrium (pictured at far right in above photo, with First Nigara Center in the background.) The plans submitted to the city specify a 118,000 sq. foot hotel, the ice rinks, a fitness center and a 965 stall parking garage.
Pegula's development group estimates that it will create 450 full and part time jobs, not counting the approx. 2,500 construction workers who they expect to be employed while the project is being built.