BUFFALO (WKBW) Three thirty three Ganson Street sits along the Buffalo River, 8 acres of land near the General Mills Plant. That piece of property can now be added to the many development projects taking place in the Queen City.
"We think it is a project that is waiting to happen, just no one had figured it out yet," Doug Swift of Buffalo Riverworks tells Eyewitness News.
Swift now has plans to remake part of Buffalo's Inner Harbor, now utilized by a steel company, and turn it into the home of two outdoor hockey rinks, bars and restaurants, a brewery, a concert venue, and hotel, all by re-using the current buildings and developing the property into an entertainment destination.
"We really see this as a moneymaker, an attraction to bring money in from outside the area. We're making the link between Canalside and the Outer Harbor. I think this corridor along the Buffalo River near Michigan and Ohio can be Buffalo's version of San Antonio's riverwalk," Swift said.
The venue even has its first event booked.
After struggling with the weather the past two years, Labatt has decided to move its annual pond hockey tournament to the Ganson Street location, starting this coming February.
"We wanted to find a way that we could guarantee that we were on ice but still be outside to maintain the feel and uniqueness of pond hockey and playing in the elements in winter and shooting around the puck. And so this will absolutely allow us to do that, with helping us guarantee that games will go off without a hitch regardless of weather," Labatt Brand Manager Lisa Texido said.
The development, with a total price tag of around 35 million dollars, is expected to continue to momentum of Canalside and the Outer Harbor, and bring it down the river, right across the street from the historic Swannie House bar.
"There is a real interest now in the Inner Harbor. So I think this is a wonderful project if they can get it done. I think it can only help in an immense way," Swannie House owner Tim Wiles said.
The first phase of the project is the hockey rinks, expected to be opened in February for the pond hockey tournament. The next step are the two atrium buildings that make up the concert venue with bars and restaurants. And finally, over the next 5 years, a hotel is planned on the property.