Paladino, Sabres make bid for Webster site

June 20, 2012 Updated Jun 20, 2012 at 7:19 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

June 20, 2012 Updated Jun 20, 2012 at 7:19 AM EDT

The Webster Block - a nearly two-acre parcel that sits across from First Niagara Center - has drawn three proposals including ones from prominent local developer Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. and the Buffalo Sabres.

Bids for the parcel, currently a 300-vehicle surface parking lot along Washington Street, were due to the City of Buffalo by June 15.

Sources confirmed that both the Sabres and Ellicott Development submitted bids. A third bid, from a local consortium of architects, was also submitted.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and his economic development team, led by development chief Brendan Mehaffy, are reviewing the bids and are expected to award the development rights later this summer. Construction has to begin by next year.

Sources said the Sabres are proposing a multi-rink facility, with a themed sports bar/restaurant to be developed by Delaware North Cos., for the block. The rinks would be used as a practice facility for the team as well as the home base for some of the area's collegiate hockey teams. It would also host amateur and youth tournaments.

The Paladino/Ellicott Development proposal calls for a multi-use project anchored by 140-room brand name hotel, 42 market rate apartments, 110,000-square-feet of Class A office space, some street level restaurant and retail store fronts and a 1,089-space parking garage.

The third proposal was more conceptual than either the Sabres or Paladino offering.

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