Buffalo Sabres owner and developer Terry Pegula received a standing ovation as he announced the groundbreaking of his new HARBORcenter project at a ceremony at the canalside site Saturday afternoon.
"With the Webster Block opportunity comes our commitment to the City of Buffalo that we will build and operate a facility that they'll be proud of," said Pegula.
That $172 million project will feature two full-sized NHL rinks, a full-service hotel, two-story restaurant, street level retail stores and a five-level parking garage big enough to hold 850 spaces.
HARBORcenter is expected to open in September of 2014 with the hotel scheduled to open by the Spring of 2015.
And as for the economic boost to the city? The project will generate 1,600 local construction jobs over two years and secure 350- full-time jobs when the project is complete.
"This project is an important part of the progress that we are seeing in Buffalo. This project will create hundreds of full time jobs and generate $4.1 million in state and local taxes annually. $48 million over the next 10 years," said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
While the project will have something for everyone to enjoy Pegula is in the hockey business after all and it was important incorporate the pair of hockey rinks in the project which will serve as an international training ground.
"We're going to invite players from all over the world, coaches and other hockey professionals, people related to the business and probably other sports to learn and train in our facility," explained Pegula.
The hockey rinks will also be used for public skating. Including the First Niagara Center the three hockey rinks will be the first of their kind in the NHL.