The Seneca Nation unveiled a new design for the Buffalo Creek casino complex on their nine-acre site in the Cobblestone District.
It's a much smaller proposal than what was once envisioned.
In 2007, the Senecas proposed a 206-suite, 22-story luxury hotel tower, 90,000 sq.ft. gaming hall and 2500 space parking structure. Construction on the $333 million project stalled in 2008 due to a sputtering economy leaving a four-story steel skeleton to rust. Crews have begun dismantling the steel structure to prepare for the new complex that is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Memphis-based design firm Hnedak Bobo Group was selected in January to create a new casino plan.
Working in conjunction with Buffalo-based BHNT Architects, Hnedak Bobo and Seneca Gaming officials have held several meetings with neighborhood representatives to discuss how a new casino can best complement surrounding development efforts in the Inner Harbor area.
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From The Buffalo News:
"This new casino will be a national design leader for casinos in urban settings," said Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter. "Our investment in this facility is our stake in our partnership with Buffalo's Inner Harbor, the rejuvenation of the Perry Choice Neighborhood, and growth in the Old First Ward and along the Buffalo River. We are all in this together and we will succeed through collaboration."
Porter has sought to integrate the new casino project into the surrounding community over the past few months, and emphasized that point today. When complete, he said the new casino will replace the current, slots-only casino that opened on the territory in 2007. The new design features a main stone-faced building containing the newest slot games, table games and a small, American-style restaurant and bar facility.
The design released today, a casino with restaurant and bar and four-story, 715 car ramp surrounded by parking lots, certainly "complements" the existing surface lots in the neighborhood.
Hnedak Bobo Group has been a leading strategic design and planning partner for more than 25 of the most recognized Native American Tribes across the United States. Established in 1979, the firm's 80-person team located in Memphis, Tennessee, includes professionals in architecture, interior design, master planning, and project/development management.
Previous $333 million design