BUFFALO (WKBW) As fans flocked to the First Niagara Center for a Saturday afternoon Sabres game, many of them walked by nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of economic development.
On the Webster Block, the fences are up, the equipment is there, and construction will begin this month on the Buffalo Sabres Harbor Center complex.
"We got all of the approvals last week and we hit the ground running. By April you will see cranes in the air here. I think people that don't come down here on a regular basis, when they do and they see it they're going to say wow," Sabres Director of Communications Mike Gilbert said.
But construction means 250 less parking spaces and local street closures.
"When there's a construction process there is always a little bit of inconvenience, but in the end it will be well worth it," Gilbert added.
And nestled between the work soon to be done on the Webster Block and the current construction on the Donovan building lies a small strip of land, between Main and Washington Streets that is also going to be getting a multi-million dollar facelift.
Just yesterday the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation contracted out work on the "East Canal," a five million dollar project continuing the expansion of Canalside.
"So this is an extension which is great, again public space, you'll be able to access Canalside from Washington Street," ECHDC President Tom Dee said.
And given everything going on around the waterfront, Dee says he doesn't mind complaints about construction, because it means things are happening.
"Buffalo has been dry for so long in terms of construction activity. It used to be a joke that you will never see a crane gracing the skyline of Buffalo but now they're everywhere," Dee added.
As for expected completion dates, the East Canal should be finished this Fall, the Aud Block in January, with the Donovan Building and Harbor Center scheduled to open sometime next year.