Two Finalists Selected to Develop the Webster Block

July 27, 2012 Updated Jul 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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July 27, 2012 Updated Jul 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Another piece of the waterfront puzzle will soon be in place.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced Friday that two finalists have been selected to develop the Webster Block, a parking lot in front of First Niagara Center.

Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development is calling for a mixed use complex which includes a hotel, parking and residential apartments.

The Sabres' plan adds two ice rinks in place of the residential component.

And Brown says there is another difference between the competing projects.

The Sabres' proposal is asking for more in public subsidy," said Brown.

How much?

"We have to work the numbers," he said.

Paladino's plan calls for $64 million in development. The Sabres are looking for a price tag of $123 million.

Brown says the Webster Block is a key component of the Inner Harbor's future, with Canalside, the project at the former Aud site and HSBC Tower surrounding the site.

"It actually has become one of the hottest, if not the hottest parcel of land not only in the City of Buffalo but all of Western New York," said Brown.

A final selection between the competing projects will be made by August 15 with construction expected to begin before the end of the year.