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Terry Pegula and the Sabres are making a gigantic investment in downtown Buffalo. They will build a $123 million complex that includes two ice rinks, a hotel, retail and a “destination” Tim Horton’s. (It’s supposed be a really special Tim Horton’s.) It will be connected to First Niagara, where the Sabres play. It’s considered a first-of-its-kind concept in the NHL.

While the city is providing tax abatements, it does not appear Buffalo threw a ton money at the deal, the Buffalo News reports:

The Sabres will pay the city $2 million for the 1.7-acre parcel, and city residents will be sought for post-construction jobs. Local labor will be used for construction. Employees of the ice rink and parking ramp also will be paid a living wage, Brown said.

The Sabres are expected to seek a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, which abates local property taxes, and state brownfield tax credits. Brown said he did not expect the city to provide additional financial assistance for the project, which Sabres spokesman Michael M. Gilbert confirmed.

WGRZ reports the Sabres will pay about $4.8 million in taxes a year once the project is done. The station also reports there are deadlines built into this deal:

Under terms with their agreement with the city, the Sabres need to have the parking garage and ice rinks open by no later than September 30, 2014…The Sabres have until May 30, 2015 to open the 200 room hotel.

This is very exciting for downtown Buffalo and hockey fans.

Rochester needs a Terry Pegula downtown. Maybe he’ll buy Blue Cross Arena, home to his minor-league club, and take a shine to Midtown?

12 Responses to Paging Terry Pegula

  1. August 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm Joe Mineo responds:

    Before anyone gets too excited by this (and if it comes to fruition it is worthy of excitement) I would wait until it is actually completed. As a former Buffalonian and one who keeps tabs on what is going on in my hometown, I would recommend being cautiously optimistic. Buffalo and Erie County politics are some of the worst you will find and if history is any example, the city or county will find some way to screw this up. How’s that waterfront development coming? Oh, not happening. How’s the new Bass Pro Outlet? Oh, they scuttled that too.

  2. August 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm Mittens responds:

    So the dying city of Buffalo, NY gets to see this kind of huge development downtown but we get a hole in the ground? Great.

  3. August 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm RaChaCha responds:

    And this came the day after the announcement of a new veterinary college to be located in the city, as well — also a largely privately funded project.

    And on deck for tomorrow: Bills announce plan to stay in Buffalo long-term, including construction of a new downtown stadium, to be funded largely with private dollars. Hey, a guy can dream of a triple play!

    But seriously, the two announced projects are well-supported and widely supported and will draw minimal to no opposition—unlike many previous Buffalo-area large projects. Why? Both involved a competition process, the concepts and details for both make sense to people, both build smartly on existing resources, both are well designed and respect community planning and vision, both are located in the city, both are compatible with our award-winning regional economic development framework, and neither is heavily reliant on public subsidy giveaways.

    At yesterday’s announcement (vet college), I chatted with our Buffalo mayor and Carl Carballada’s nephew, who is a neighborhood leader in the neighborhood where the vet college will be built. It certainly couldn’t hurt Carl to pay a visit back to his hometown, Buffalo, to find out about some of the great projects we have going on (finally!), and to talk with the community leaders who are heavily invested in the Regional Council process and are strongly embracing a very sensible regional framework.

    Our WNY regional economic development framework is built on a strong foundation of community visioning and community planning that has been underway for several years as a joint initiative between the City of Buffalo and the UB School of Architecture and Planning. It has strong buy-in from community leaders, especially the businessman selected by Governor Cuomo to co-chair our regional council (the other co-chair being the president of UB). Carl Carballada, however, has never embraced community visioning and community planning, as I and others who have been in meetings with him discovered to our dismay.

    While in the past it’s often been quite the other way around, right now Rochester’s city leadership could learn a great deal from what’s happening in Buffalo.

  4. August 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial needs to stay public (although by the Greater Rochester Sports Authority, rather than the city, and the same with Sahlen’s Stadium and the Riverside Convention Center) and stay a tribute to all who gave some and some who gave all to our country.

  5. August 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm Orielly responds:

    Funny yesterday discussing the City of Rochester and University developments public sector tax breaks, funding etc were the only way in the upstate marketplace in the cities could be devloped. Now today your saying the private sector in Buffalo is making it all happen.

    Truth is most of the development in DT Buffalo is taxpayer funded as well, via UB Pharma schools and ECC facilities.

    • August 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm RaChaCha responds:

      Either you didn’t closely read what I wrote, or just read far enough to find something to contradict. Either way, to repeat: these things are necessary in Upstate cities “to some degree.” On the Buffalo projects, again I said “largely privately funded” (emphasis added). Buffalo is coming off an era where what passed for “economic development” included, all too often, giveaways of key parcels to favored developers in backroom, sweetheart deals, or massive public subsidies like the 8 figures being offered to a single retailer as recently as 2 years ago. While I wouldn’t say that Buffalo is out of the woods yet, the announcement of the 2 large projects this week bodes well and is the best news those of us who follow economic development here have had in a long, long time.

  6. August 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    Perhaps, Mr. Pegula could rescue the struggling Sports Center at MCC and/or make the Dome Arena and Minnett Hall, which were supposed to be ice arenas, like this place on Webster Block in Buffalo.

  7. August 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm Orielly responds:

    Follow economic development or root for more projects spending taxpayers money? The only taxpayer funded project that made sense I have seen in a long time was REN. While i was fundamentally against it, if we were (and we are) going to build all three doing it all at one time at the same location is the cheapest way. BUT City DEMS killed it based on pure politics. They have screwed up Midtown, Sibleys, and with the REN failure, 3 out of the 4 corners on Main st.

    Congratulations on your writing technique that includes an out clause allowing you to run from what you said. The overall summation of your writing / position and your contradictory position between yesterday and today remains.

  8. August 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm RaChaCha responds:

    No, I used the terms I did because I was using a level of generalization to allow me to try to make an overall point in the limited setting of a blog comment. It’s not like there’s an option here to upload supporting documentation with per-project cost breakdowns and footnotes.

    Troll much–?

    • Sure … … A level of generalizations. Sure.. and a Limited setting of a blog comment? You’ve only posted 4000 +words. Couldn’t get your “true” point across? They are out clause’s when the BS card is pulled on you.. as I did.
      But I really do like the Troll comment … its right out of the race card file. When one can’t defend throw out a name call. Cool … next you can follow with LMAO or ROTFL
      My point remains the same. You took two different sides on two different days on funding for developments .. on back to back days. And on that you or no one could defend. You think its fine great to have taxpayer pay for a liberal’s idea of urban development. Yea we know and next you’ll back refilling the canal for 100M of tax payer funds.

      • September 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm RaChaCha responds:

        Being a comments troll has nothing to do with race, it’s a state of mind—one which you clearly inhabit: picking out a bit here and/or there from something someone wrote & repackaging it with some inflammatory & provocational language to stir up contention for its own sake. I have better things to do.

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