Buffalo Sabres to Break Ground on HARBORcenter

April 10, 2013

HARBORcenter, a mixed-use development in downtown Buffalo, will officially break ground on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. The new facility, which is being developed by HARBORcenter Development, LLC (the development company affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres), will include two new ice rinks, a 200-room hotel, a restaurant, retail and parking.

“Breaking ground on HARBORcenter represents an important step in the development of Downtown Buffalo and its waterfront,” said Cliff Benson, Chief Development Officer for the Buffalo Sabres. “When the facility opens, it will become a premier training ground for youth hockey players and coaches and, coupled with the hotel and retail components, will be both an economic and social asset to our community for decades to come.”

Located adjacent to First Niagara Center, the $172 million project consists of street level retail shops, a two-story restaurant, a five level parking deck and a hotel. The recreation and youth training facility features two NHL ice sheets, with the main ice sheet having a seating capacity for 1,800 spectators. The facility has locker room spaces to support simultaneous use of both ice sheets and will be used for public skates, tournaments, clinics, youth training and occasional team practices for the Buffalo Sabres. Included as part of the ice facility is the Center of Excellence, which includes meeting rooms and training facilities for youth and adults.

The Webster Block, a 1.7 acre site, is located in close proximity to Canalside, two major sports venues and the Peace Bridge. The site is bound by Main, Washington, Perry and Scott Streets. The construction of HARBORcenter is expected to provide approximately 1,500 construction jobs. Once complete, the facilities are expected to create 350 full-time jobs and generate $4.1 million in state and local taxes or $48 million over the next ten years. Populous is serving as the Architect, with GSB as the Associate Architect and M. A. Mortenson Company as construction manager.

“The design of HARBORcenter compliments the historic architecture of Buffalo’s canal district while introducing modern architectural materials and elements, including glass and geometric volumes clad in metal panels,” explains Wayne London, Principal at Populous and Project Manager for HARBORcenter. “HARBORcenter will position the city of Buffalo as an elite leader in training, providing state-of-the-art facilities to youth and coaches that will inevitably draw talent to the area. Coupled with the retail, hotel and dining components, HARBORcenter will have a lasting impact on the community.”

The ice rink, restaurant and retail components of the project are expected to open in September of 2014, with the hotel expected to open in the spring of 2015.

The groundbreaking will be held at the corner of Washington and Perry streets, across from First Niagara Center, in downtown Buffalo. The groundbreaking ceremony will include brief remarks from Benson, New York State Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, Erie County Executive Mark Polancarz, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Sabres owner Terry Pegula. Questions regarding the groundbreaking should be directed to Michael Gilbert of the Buffalo Sabres- (716) 855-4526, Michael.gilbert@sabres.com.


About Populous
Since inception in 1983, Populous has grown into the world’s leading design firm dedicated exclusively to creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences, from stadiums to training facilities to arenas. The firm has completed more than 2,000 projects around the globe with construction value exceeding $30 billion. Populous has worked with 130 universities, 40 convention center clients, 80 professional and civic arena clients, 24 Major League Baseball franchises, 30 NFL franchises, 40 global soccer and rugby teams, 29 equestrian clients and has planned more than 30 major worldwide events.

Our portfolio of collegiate work includes football stadiums, arenas, ballparks, training facilities and athletic master plans including icons such as the KFC Yum! Center; University of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium; TD Ameritrade Park; and AMSOIL Arena as well as dozens of projects in progress. At Populous, we enthusiastically embrace the expertise we claim – drawing people together around events, places, teams and ideas they embrace and adore. www.populous.com

About GSB
GSB, Inc. is a broadly experienced architecture firm with a focus on the hospitality, resort, condominium, and entertainment markets. Over the course of the firm’s 34-year history, they have completed an array of hotel projects, ranging from select service prototype hotels to themed luxury resorts, encompassing over 20,000 hotel rooms and  representing nearly every major hotel brand. These hotels vary in scale from small boutique properties to destination and convention hotels containing more than 1500 rooms. In addition to a broad spectrum of hotel projects, the firm also has significant experience in related development, including luxury condominiums, vacation timeshares, resort residences, themed restaurants, entertainment venues and resort amenities. With project sites ranging from Walt Disney World in Orlando to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the practice operates coast to coast, with work ongoing in twelve states. Work includes new construction, as well as major additions and renovations.

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