HARBORcenter Announces Marriott Hotel

July 17, 2013 Updated Jul 17, 2013 at 6:52 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

July 17, 2013 Updated Jul 17, 2013 at 6:52 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) Just a few months of construction has turned a parking lot at the Webster block into a flurry of workers, concrete, and steel as the HARBORcenter construction continues, now with a name to put on top of the new building.

Wednesday's big announcement was a partnership with Marriott to make up the hotel portion of the 170 million dollar project.

"A Marriott with over 200 guest rooms, 500 feet of meeting space, a full service restaurant, fitness facilities, all the amenities that you would expect," HARBORcenter President John Koelmel said.

This week will also see a second larger crane go up on the site, growing the workforce to 100 people.

"We're doing great, we're on time, we've started the plumbing and the electrical. And 98% of the work force out there is local," Cliff Benson of the Buffalo Sabres organization said.

But with all the progress being made in front of First Niagara Center, just across the street at Commercial and Marine Drive, the Aud Block project has stalled.

"We're 52% complete and we are just waiting on a decision to move forward. We are pushing everything forward as much as we can, we want to get back on track, and it's just going to be a question of time," Tomm Dee of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation said.

Now a new contractor must come in and take over, one again changing the time frame.

"It's a ten month schedule for the project and we are 52% complete," Dee added.

But despite that delay, having concrete being poured at One Canalside, interior work being done on the Donovan building, and the frantic pace of HARBORcenter, local officials know all this investment comes the potential of a large scale return.

"Some are projecting that it could be upwards, over the next 4, 5, 6 year of 11,000 new jobs," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.