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Disappointing, Revised Casino Plans Unveiled

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.

casino2012c.jpg

^Click to enlarge

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. 

casinco2012d.jpgHnedak 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.

Seneca333.jpg

Previous $333 million design

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Written by WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

1880 posts
  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    I don’t normally weigh-in on casinos but I was hopeful that this one was a dead deal….
    As long as this project is contained in the current alloted 9-acres and not allowed to grow beyond it, we might as well welcome the project into the neighborhood….

  • hamp

    “Disappointing” is much too nice a way to describe the kind of trash the Senecas and their architects want to foist on the city.
    So much for coordinating with Canalside.
    Time for the City to turn off the lights and other utilities going to the Casino and call it a day. Let a private developer come in and build something better.

  • Perry

    zzzzzzzzzz…now there a design that can lull you to sleep. At a minimum (not a gambling fan at all), I was hoping that this project would add to the skyline.

  • elmdog

    How embarrassing……no hotel component at all? why would anyone go? I guess they are happy milking the poor lonely clientele they already take from…This isnt a casino, its more of an eyesore….Way to help Beautify the neighborhood, at least thats what I thought they said…….

  • On Richmond

    Ouch. They should have left the modern Indian ruin in place. I’m trying to see the “design” here.

  • elmdog

    what happened to all of the green space they had in the other renderings? Joke….I wanted it three years ago…Now, please kill the proposal please

  • BuffaloInk

    Sad. A new addition to our skyline would have been refreshing.

  • BuffaloInk

    Sad. A new addition to our skyline would have been refreshing.

  • EB_Blue

    I guess the talk of being more “urban” was baloney. A building floating in the middle of a giant parking lot doesn’t exactly link the casino seemlessly with its surroundings. Is this what the Senecas are paying Michael Kimmelweck to plan?

  • EB_Blue

    I guess the talk of being more “urban” was baloney. A building floating in the middle of a giant parking lot doesn’t exactly link the casino seemlessly with its surroundings. Is this what the Senecas are paying Michael Kimmelweck to plan?

  • Black Rock Lifer

    An recent article about the Canadian casino’s revealed revenue had dropped dramatically in the past few years. The market has become saturated, we should stop pretending a casino is a positive and accept the FACT that casinos are a net loss for the host community.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    An recent article about the Canadian casino’s revealed revenue had dropped dramatically in the past few years. The market has become saturated, we should stop pretending a casino is a positive and accept the FACT that casinos are a net loss for the host community.

  • NorthBuf

    If they are so interested in just milking downtown and the east side dry why even build a casino? Just build more pole barns and save the money. Plus it’ll be easier to sell off once the area is sucked dry and left for dead

  • SecedefromNYS

    Well that is craptastic….

  • SecedefromNYS

    Well that is craptastic….

  • RaChaCha

    Great comments so far, but this one PWNs y’all — Dawgs!
    http://pic.twitter.com/kE0vdKUH
    Just got back from the site, and there are workmen on lifts who appear to be getting to work on dismantling the steelwork.

  • RaChaCha

    Great comments so far, but this one PWNs y’all — Dawgs!
    http://pic.twitter.com/kE0vdKUH
    Just got back from the site, and there are workmen on lifts who appear to be getting to work on dismantling the steelwork.

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMphMztfvgC-hSMOYheqVOh-I3me3nKY8

    1) The pro of no hotel component is the ability of private hotels in the canal side area to pick up the need.
    2) It does replace the blue shed
    3)Otherwise it may as well be a regal theater in the middle of a parking lot.
    What’s so hard about getting this closer to Michigan and Perry to try to start some kind of “street” feeling to the area? Well besides the shed being in the way. But they could build the rear of the facility, move the slots, and then finish at the corner.

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMphMztfvgC-hSMOYheqVOh-I3me3nKY8

    1) The pro of no hotel component is the ability of private hotels in the canal side area to pick up the need.
    2) It does replace the blue shed
    3)Otherwise it may as well be a regal theater in the middle of a parking lot.
    What’s so hard about getting this closer to Michigan and Perry to try to start some kind of “street” feeling to the area? Well besides the shed being in the way. But they could build the rear of the facility, move the slots, and then finish at the corner.

  • buffalo soldier

    While not at all what I was hoping for, still vastly better than rotting steel and industrial waste currently at the site. I know people are going to say that something is not always better than nothing…but that part of the area next to the FNC needs something like this. The design can be more urban for sure, but id take this design over them scrapping the project and leaving the site all together.

  • bufwego

    Hey it looks like the Regal Cinemas I used to work at in the suburbs. I also love how the parking garage is going to be taller than the casino. Way to go Casino!!!

  • bufwego

    Hey it looks like the Regal Cinemas I used to work at in the suburbs. I also love how the parking garage is going to be taller than the casino. Way to go Casino!!!

  • townline

    Insulting.
    Thanks New York State for selling your sole so they can put this piece of shit in our city.
    Thanks City of Buffalo for selling city-owned property to make this piece of shit happen.
    And to think – the renderings are probably making the piece of shit more attractive than it actually will be…

  • townline

    Insulting.
    Thanks New York State for selling your sole so they can put this piece of shit in our city.
    Thanks City of Buffalo for selling city-owned property to make this piece of shit happen.
    And to think – the renderings are probably making the piece of shit more attractive than it actually will be…

  • townline

    Whoops!
    *Soul

  • townline

    Whoops!
    *Soul

  • jim1234664

    well f*ck me running…. what a mess.

  • flyguy

    So all the fighting and delay tactics to stop the casino really ended up resulting in the process stopping, giving the project the time for this redesign, and a much worse outcome. Its clear to me that the former design was a much better, more urban-like, and significant project than whats now proposed. This new design is not unlike a mall with a ring of surface parking around it, hardly more urban friendly. The vertical element is gone, surface lots are now painfully apparent. The former was the MUCH better option.
    Nobody is putting a gun to anyone’s head on the east side forcing them to go to the casino to spend what limited resources they have. Its a choice. Lets stop coddling adults and let adults make adult decisions please. Casino’s do badly impact some people but so does stupidity, and drugs, and alcohol, and sex, and tobacco products, and greed, etc. etc. Is it best to just ban everything then and slowly regulate ourselves down into a padded room so we can protect ourselves from ourselves?

  • flyguy

    So all the fighting and delay tactics to stop the casino really ended up resulting in the process stopping, giving the project the time for this redesign, and a much worse outcome. Its clear to me that the former design was a much better, more urban-like, and significant project than whats now proposed. This new design is not unlike a mall with a ring of surface parking around it, hardly more urban friendly. The vertical element is gone, surface lots are now painfully apparent. The former was the MUCH better option.
    Nobody is putting a gun to anyone’s head on the east side forcing them to go to the casino to spend what limited resources they have. Its a choice. Lets stop coddling adults and let adults make adult decisions please. Casino’s do badly impact some people but so does stupidity, and drugs, and alcohol, and sex, and tobacco products, and greed, etc. etc. Is it best to just ban everything then and slowly regulate ourselves down into a padded room so we can protect ourselves from ourselves?

  • brownteeth

    I for one don’t go to casino’s, however a lot of people do. All I can say about this particular project is that it’s on land no one else has the money or desire to do anything with and it does help bridge the gap between Canalside, Cobblestone and First Ward. It’s one more thing to do down there and if you look at it as a small piece of a puzzle of entertainment then what’s the problem?

  • brownteeth

    I for one don’t go to casino’s, however a lot of people do. All I can say about this particular project is that it’s on land no one else has the money or desire to do anything with and it does help bridge the gap between Canalside, Cobblestone and First Ward. It’s one more thing to do down there and if you look at it as a small piece of a puzzle of entertainment then what’s the problem?

  • RaChaCha

    “Well, we’re not getting any younger, so we just felt it’s time to move into a patio casino.” #FakeSenecaGamingQuotes

  • RaChaCha

    “Well, we’re not getting any younger, so we just felt it’s time to move into a patio casino.” #FakeSenecaGamingQuotes

  • nyc

    pathetic. but predictable.

  • nyc

    pathetic. but predictable.

  • bobbyraz49

    Almost anything in that area is a plus !!! Also, the fact that there is no hotel in this design means less strain on current downtown hotels.

  • bobbyraz49

    Almost anything in that area is a plus !!! Also, the fact that there is no hotel in this design means less strain on current downtown hotels.

  • sin|ill

    this can’t be real. seriously.

  • sin|ill

    this can’t be real. seriously.

  • DietSoda

    Surface parking? Really?

  • DietSoda

    Surface parking? Really?

  • townline

    The lawsuits had nothing to do with them stopping construction and now revising. At the time, Seneca Nation stopped construction of improvements at all 3 of their casinos – citing economic conditions. They have recently found that the Casino’s are less of a “can’t miss” development than they originally felt with their agressive plans. They have downsized this design based on those realities.
    This casino is specifically designed to grab as much of the dollars out of Buffalo as possible while spending as little on improvements as possible. Thats why we now have a few plots of grass instead of a big interpretive front to the building, surrounded by a sea of surface parking, with minimal tretment to the exterior of the building. This is essentially going to be a larger version of the shed that is presently there, with more parking.
    Totally pathetic. This will be Pataki’s lasting legacy for Buffalo. Thanks.

  • townline

    The lawsuits had nothing to do with them stopping construction and now revising. At the time, Seneca Nation stopped construction of improvements at all 3 of their casinos – citing economic conditions. They have recently found that the Casino’s are less of a “can’t miss” development than they originally felt with their agressive plans. They have downsized this design based on those realities.
    This casino is specifically designed to grab as much of the dollars out of Buffalo as possible while spending as little on improvements as possible. Thats why we now have a few plots of grass instead of a big interpretive front to the building, surrounded by a sea of surface parking, with minimal tretment to the exterior of the building. This is essentially going to be a larger version of the shed that is presently there, with more parking.
    Totally pathetic. This will be Pataki’s lasting legacy for Buffalo. Thanks.

  • Buffalo All Star

    Idk..looks like parkings going to be a little tight.

  • Buffalo All Star

    –Harrah’s New Orleans–
    Urban is possible…just not desired with the Senecas. Their casino in Niagara Falls could be to the curb as well as the Buffalo Creek..but isn’t?
    The quote in the snooze about it being “a model for urban casino’s nationwide” is truly one of the funniest things I have ever heard.

  • Buffalo All Star

    –Harrah’s New Orleans–
    Urban is possible…just not desired with the Senecas. Their casino in Niagara Falls could be to the curb as well as the Buffalo Creek..but isn’t?
    The quote in the snooze about it being “a model for urban casino’s nationwide” is truly one of the funniest things I have ever heard.

  • longgone

    The drop in Casino revenue happened around the same time people were required to have a passport to enter Canada. Seeing as only 30% of folks in the US have a passport…it could be possible there is a connection there.
    At any rate, this is nothing more than a bigger blue shed.

  • brownteeth

    That’s my thought too. Similar cities like New Orleans have a similar sized casino (Harrah’s) right in their CBD too. It’s not the main draw by any means but adds an entertainment option for the many variety of visitors passing through.
    If you stop looking at this like a silver bullet project and think of it as “one more thing to do” then it can be a postive draw. How many other $130 million projects are being built in the city with 100% private money? If people don’t gamble don’t go. As silly as it may seem, people do travel far and wide to go to casino’s, even ones in the middle of no where. Now there will be one adjacent to a mid-sized city with more ammenities to keep people in the area longer. Especially if they have to find lodging elsewhere.
    I don’t liken this to NF USA either. The city of Buffalo has a much healthier critical mass of people and established retail, restaurants, hotels, etc where this won’t take away anything, especially if all it adds to the city is the option of gambling.
    I really don’t know why anyone cares one way or another?

  • brownteeth

    That’s my thought too. Similar cities like New Orleans have a similar sized casino (Harrah’s) right in their CBD too. It’s not the main draw by any means but adds an entertainment option for the many variety of visitors passing through.
    If you stop looking at this like a silver bullet project and think of it as “one more thing to do” then it can be a postive draw. How many other $130 million projects are being built in the city with 100% private money? If people don’t gamble don’t go. As silly as it may seem, people do travel far and wide to go to casino’s, even ones in the middle of no where. Now there will be one adjacent to a mid-sized city with more ammenities to keep people in the area longer. Especially if they have to find lodging elsewhere.
    I don’t liken this to NF USA either. The city of Buffalo has a much healthier critical mass of people and established retail, restaurants, hotels, etc where this won’t take away anything, especially if all it adds to the city is the option of gambling.
    I really don’t know why anyone cares one way or another?

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    WHAT
    A
    JOKE
    Please tell me how this “incorporates” the feel of Cobblestone district/Canalside?
    The building isn’t even brick!!

  • Tim

    I disagree. This redesign is better for the city. This includes only a small bar and restaurant and no hotel, which is great to me. Now the city establishments won’t have to compete with that agglomeration. The old shiny hotel tower looked great to me too, but I don’t think it would be good for downtown. Now patrons will be forced to venture into the city if they want to eat or stay. It’s a good thing.

  • Tim

    I disagree. This redesign is better for the city. This includes only a small bar and restaurant and no hotel, which is great to me. Now the city establishments won’t have to compete with that agglomeration. The old shiny hotel tower looked great to me too, but I don’t think it would be good for downtown. Now patrons will be forced to venture into the city if they want to eat or stay. It’s a good thing.

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    With this barfbag of a design, the state should revoke the agreement they have with the Indians for porposing such a HORRIBLE design.
    were they the ones that also theough the new courthouse wouldn’t show the concrete through the windows?

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    With this barfbag of a design, the state should revoke the agreement they have with the Indians for porposing such a HORRIBLE design.
    were they the ones that also theough the new courthouse wouldn’t show the concrete through the windows?

  • nyc

    People are disappointed that the casino offers nothing to the urban context. Nothing to really build off of unless you want more single story single use complexes surrounding by parking. It was intended to be a catalyst… I know, better than what’s there I guess but i think people are just tired of projects in Buffalo devolving into something as forgettable as what is represented here. It’s a horrible shame they didn’t even keep the HO Oats elevator. It could have been a real icon for the location visible from the highway, all around. They would have to maintain it of course but i think it would have been fabulous lit up and all and would have drawn people. But as ignorant as the city is, as short sited as the seneca’s are, it’s not there anymore. It’s just aggravating. Why is everything such a struggle? Buffalo might be poor, but it’s real poverty is found in what is lacking from civic leadership..vision.

  • nyc

    People are disappointed that the casino offers nothing to the urban context. Nothing to really build off of unless you want more single story single use complexes surrounding by parking. It was intended to be a catalyst… I know, better than what’s there I guess but i think people are just tired of projects in Buffalo devolving into something as forgettable as what is represented here. It’s a horrible shame they didn’t even keep the HO Oats elevator. It could have been a real icon for the location visible from the highway, all around. They would have to maintain it of course but i think it would have been fabulous lit up and all and would have drawn people. But as ignorant as the city is, as short sited as the seneca’s are, it’s not there anymore. It’s just aggravating. Why is everything such a struggle? Buffalo might be poor, but it’s real poverty is found in what is lacking from civic leadership..vision.

  • nyc

    people don’t “venture out” from a casino. that’s the whole point.
    and with a casino such as this, there will not be anyone “staying” either.

  • nyc

    people don’t “venture out” from a casino. that’s the whole point.
    and with a casino such as this, there will not be anyone “staying” either.

  • 16thStreet

    Really? Ya had to put this kind of spooge up during lunch? Well there goes my other slice of pizza.
    Trash, pure trash. Should have just left the steel beams up, looked better than this!

  • 16thStreet

    Really? Ya had to put this kind of spooge up during lunch? Well there goes my other slice of pizza.
    Trash, pure trash. Should have just left the steel beams up, looked better than this!

  • 300miles

    I think it’s a huge win for the city overall that the casino won’t include a hotel or theater. Keeping it a pure casino is better for the other businesses that would have had to compete.
    But calling this physical design “urban” in any way is really insulting. There’s nothing urban about it. And they obviously didn’t do anything to integrate it with Canalside like they pretended they would do. As usual, another lost opportunity.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    The revenue at casinos near the border has dropped from 800 million a decade ago to 100 million today, pretty dramatic. I think the border security played a part but also the new casinos in the US and the stronger Canadian dollar also had an impact. We all can agree this project is crap.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    The revenue at casinos near the border has dropped from 800 million a decade ago to 100 million today, pretty dramatic. I think the border security played a part but also the new casinos in the US and the stronger Canadian dollar also had an impact. We all can agree this project is crap.

  • Tim

    That was the whole point of the old design. I.e. mall, hotel, restaurants, bars etc etc. comped comped cheap cheap. Now, there’s at least a better chance of people venturing out, since this won’t cater to every possible want/need people may have.
    But wow…. This is literally(!!) a sea of parking. As for it being a national leader in urban casino design, either the man is lying out his ass, or just completely clueless. Either one is kinda disturbing.

  • RumRunner

    Well thats a letdown. The overhead perspective says it all. Parking parking parking. It’s also a pretty stark reflection of the current economy vs. the original plans.
    At least its better than the current skeletal steel and shed thats there now. I also think the lack of a hotel is a decidedly positive thing, since they would have been able to undercut local hotels on room rates. No hotel is better than the quarter filled “Biff Tannen”-esque monster in the Falls.

  • RumRunner

    Well thats a letdown. The overhead perspective says it all. Parking parking parking. It’s also a pretty stark reflection of the current economy vs. the original plans.
    At least its better than the current skeletal steel and shed thats there now. I also think the lack of a hotel is a decidedly positive thing, since they would have been able to undercut local hotels on room rates. No hotel is better than the quarter filled “Biff Tannen”-esque monster in the Falls.

  • nyc

    yes this is disturbing!

  • nyc

    yes this is disturbing!

  • YesSir

    If they sell Trader Joe’s cigarettes then I love everything about it.

  • YesSir

    If they sell Trader Joe’s cigarettes then I love everything about it.

  • townline

    Where is Michael Kimelberg’s leadership from the Seneca Nation side of this one. He was brought in as a planning and urban design rock star from Seattle to provide expertise to the Seneca Nation.
    He can not possibly tell me that he is proud of what the Seneca Nation is doing here for the City of Buffalo. A blank box, without context surrounded by a sea of parking…
    It seems that nobody from the State, to the City, to the Seneca Nation is interested in demanding better. Its absolutely deflating how our “leaders” continue to provide no vision or leadership. When are we going to stop this nonsense?

  • townline

    Where is Michael Kimelberg’s leadership from the Seneca Nation side of this one. He was brought in as a planning and urban design rock star from Seattle to provide expertise to the Seneca Nation.
    He can not possibly tell me that he is proud of what the Seneca Nation is doing here for the City of Buffalo. A blank box, without context surrounded by a sea of parking…
    It seems that nobody from the State, to the City, to the Seneca Nation is interested in demanding better. Its absolutely deflating how our “leaders” continue to provide no vision or leadership. When are we going to stop this nonsense?

  • phenimore

    I don’t know, if things pick up, I have to think the Senecas will want to reinvest in a larger, hotel/plan. I’ve never been to the blue shed, but this is better than that and the iron skeleton. The superfluous parking ramp seems to indicate they are leaving room for growth.

  • phenimore

    I don’t know, if things pick up, I have to think the Senecas will want to reinvest in a larger, hotel/plan. I’ve never been to the blue shed, but this is better than that and the iron skeleton. The superfluous parking ramp seems to indicate they are leaving room for growth.

  • nyc

    Excellent point, they pay Kimelberg $140,000/ year to help come up with this crap?

  • nyc

    Excellent point, they pay Kimelberg $140,000/ year to help come up with this crap?

  • elmdog

    Casino Hotels bring in guests from out of town that want to gamble and a place too stay….Unless the casino works very closely with the area hotels and shuttles back and forth this casino will not bring in any out of towners…

  • elmdog

    Casino Hotels bring in guests from out of town that want to gamble and a place too stay….Unless the casino works very closely with the area hotels and shuttles back and forth this casino will not bring in any out of towners…

  • nyc

    They know the casino market is saturated. I don’t think there is any measurable growth anticipated. And even if so, they would illustrate this plan as being a first step in a larger vision…but they haven’t.
    this is it folks.

  • nyc

    They know the casino market is saturated. I don’t think there is any measurable growth anticipated. And even if so, they would illustrate this plan as being a first step in a larger vision…but they haven’t.
    this is it folks.

  • warehousedweller

    ITS THIER LAND, THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH IT!! all you people that are complaining about what goes on around here should do like i did and buy a farm and get out !!!!

  • Chris

    With NYS about to pass legalized gaming I doubt this project gets done.
    It will just depend on how many grants the state issues. We all know that Howard Milstein is going to get one for his vast tract of land in Niagara Falls.
    Right now the Seneca’s are the only show in town. Their budget for marketing and promotion when a new casino is built will balloon with competition.
    I is really clear that the Seneca casino in Buffalo is meant to syphon the surrounding area already meager funds.

  • Chris

    With NYS about to pass legalized gaming I doubt this project gets done.
    It will just depend on how many grants the state issues. We all know that Howard Milstein is going to get one for his vast tract of land in Niagara Falls.
    Right now the Seneca’s are the only show in town. Their budget for marketing and promotion when a new casino is built will balloon with competition.
    I is really clear that the Seneca casino in Buffalo is meant to syphon the surrounding area already meager funds.

  • PaulBuffalo

    Foxwoods Casino is suffering from a lack of visitors and has financial issues. Las Vegas casinos are suffering from a lack of visitors. California casinos just attract the day-trippers close to home. Torontonians are not venturing to Niagara Falls casinos in the numbers they did years ago.
    Is this story about a plain-vanilla casino in Buffalo really a surprise? Be glad the white elephant was never built.

  • PaulBuffalo

    Foxwoods Casino is suffering from a lack of visitors and has financial issues. Las Vegas casinos are suffering from a lack of visitors. California casinos just attract the day-trippers close to home. Torontonians are not venturing to Niagara Falls casinos in the numbers they did years ago.
    Is this story about a plain-vanilla casino in Buffalo really a surprise? Be glad the white elephant was never built.

  • Ryan

    In terms of urban design this project is embarrassing. The quote by the Seneca President, “This new casino will be a national design leader for casinos in urban settings” is an absolute joke! This is a typical suburban urban sprawl design whereby the building is surrounded by a sea of parking. This project is turing its back to the surrounding neighborhood by offering no incentive for future projects to be designed to create an attractive, walkable streetscape that would interact with this project; what is typical of urban settings. I would love to see their specific evidence for how this design is working within a successful partnership with the Buffalo Inner Harbor or working to improve the neighborhood which it is situated in. Furthermore, the parking garage creates a barrier to residences to the south (all parking garages should have some type of storefronts on the bottom level of the parking garage facing the street), and the entire project turns its back to the waterfront. Imagine if future development on the empty lots and surface parking lots around this site were to follow this same pattern? The neighborhood would become like Transit Rd. Through urban design this project should have been an example to start creating an integrated urban neighborhood reflective of the history and character of the cobblestone district. There is nothing to praise about this design as it relates to the urban fabric of the rest of the neighborhood and no urban casinos should ever follow this model.

  • Ryan

    In terms of urban design this project is embarrassing. The quote by the Seneca President, “This new casino will be a national design leader for casinos in urban settings” is an absolute joke! This is a typical suburban urban sprawl design whereby the building is surrounded by a sea of parking. This project is turing its back to the surrounding neighborhood by offering no incentive for future projects to be designed to create an attractive, walkable streetscape that would interact with this project; what is typical of urban settings. I would love to see their specific evidence for how this design is working within a successful partnership with the Buffalo Inner Harbor or working to improve the neighborhood which it is situated in. Furthermore, the parking garage creates a barrier to residences to the south (all parking garages should have some type of storefronts on the bottom level of the parking garage facing the street), and the entire project turns its back to the waterfront. Imagine if future development on the empty lots and surface parking lots around this site were to follow this same pattern? The neighborhood would become like Transit Rd. Through urban design this project should have been an example to start creating an integrated urban neighborhood reflective of the history and character of the cobblestone district. There is nothing to praise about this design as it relates to the urban fabric of the rest of the neighborhood and no urban casinos should ever follow this model.

  • elmdog

    5 story RedRoof inn should fit nicely next to the ramp

  • elmdog

    5 story RedRoof inn should fit nicely next to the ramp

  • brownteeth

    I respectfully disagree. While the HO Oats silo has its merits historically, it didn’t add anything to the urban context where as a complex like this does in regard to people and life 24/7. I don’t care for the design either but casino patrons typically have awful tastes anyway so to them this is probably world class.
    If you happened to be down there when they started this project a few years ago you would have seen work performed nearly round the clock. I am willing to bet (no pun intended) that this project will be completed within the next year. If that’s the case in a year and a half people won’t care and the city will have one more “draw” to build off.
    Design aside, the casino itself isn’t the worse thing ever for a city that’s regularly blasted in national media as a place with nothing to do. The real joke are the blue metal buildings there now, this is a huge improvement over that, or a vacant industrial wasteland that we still have plenty of all around this part of town.

  • brownteeth

    I respectfully disagree. While the HO Oats silo has its merits historically, it didn’t add anything to the urban context where as a complex like this does in regard to people and life 24/7. I don’t care for the design either but casino patrons typically have awful tastes anyway so to them this is probably world class.
    If you happened to be down there when they started this project a few years ago you would have seen work performed nearly round the clock. I am willing to bet (no pun intended) that this project will be completed within the next year. If that’s the case in a year and a half people won’t care and the city will have one more “draw” to build off.
    Design aside, the casino itself isn’t the worse thing ever for a city that’s regularly blasted in national media as a place with nothing to do. The real joke are the blue metal buildings there now, this is a huge improvement over that, or a vacant industrial wasteland that we still have plenty of all around this part of town.

  • buffdude

    Instead of this piece of crap, they should buy one on the grain elevators and put a casino in there.

  • buffdude

    Instead of this piece of crap, they should buy one on the grain elevators and put a casino in there.

  • Tim

    That’s something to consider. Here’s an example of a problem I have with a huge casino in buffalo. I like to play in the poker room at Seneca niagara. I park for free. When I walk inside, I pass Tim hortons, several shops, a cold stone creamery, and a phenomenal buffet. When I make it to the poker room, I swipe my poker card which gives me benefits the longer I stay. I sit down and the waitress asks me what she can bring me to drink, all free. Though it might bring in more out of towners, I can’t see a casino of that size being beneficial to buffalo. There’s tons of things I like about it, but theyre also some of the same reasons why I think it’s a sour deal for downtown. It would probably suck me away from going elsewhere, so I assume it would do the same for others. Hence, I have more support for this toned down plan.

  • Tim

    That’s something to consider. Here’s an example of a problem I have with a huge casino in buffalo. I like to play in the poker room at Seneca niagara. I park for free. When I walk inside, I pass Tim hortons, several shops, a cold stone creamery, and a phenomenal buffet. When I make it to the poker room, I swipe my poker card which gives me benefits the longer I stay. I sit down and the waitress asks me what she can bring me to drink, all free. Though it might bring in more out of towners, I can’t see a casino of that size being beneficial to buffalo. There’s tons of things I like about it, but theyre also some of the same reasons why I think it’s a sour deal for downtown. It would probably suck me away from going elsewhere, so I assume it would do the same for others. Hence, I have more support for this toned down plan.

  • Travelrrr

    Pathetic and definitely predictable

  • Travelrrr

    Pathetic and definitely predictable

  • LouisTully

    And didn’t they knock down ____ to clear the way for this crapola???? HO Oats?

  • nyc

    I think the HO Oats did tremendous things for the urban context and could have been appropriated by the seneca as an icon associated with the casino. HO Oats was visible from quite a distance and would have been a great canvas for the Senecas to either:
    1. paint white and light up – can’t miss it.
    2. Paint white and light up with changing color, imagry, can’t miss it and “hey, what’s that, lets head over there”
    3. Paint with casino logo and light up with white light (not my favorite but whatever)
    4. be stewards of Buffalo’s industrial history and true to the apparent goal of integrating with the neighborhood and paint in original paint scheme with the big HO OATS lettering appealing to the occasional ny times writer in town and cultural tourists interested in urban quirks and city history.
    And unfortunately, every city these days has a casino. There is no way that Buffalo will be held in higher esteem because it now has one. The national media won’t care.

  • 07newbie

    Honestly, gamers couldn’t care less what the place looks like from the outside. Why, you could do the whole operation out of a crappy blue-tin shed and people would still- oh wait, never mind.

  • 07newbie

    Honestly, gamers couldn’t care less what the place looks like from the outside. Why, you could do the whole operation out of a crappy blue-tin shed and people would still- oh wait, never mind.

  • Publius

    @SenecaNation We’re experimenting with a new Wal-Mart style casino…layaway not included. #FakeSenecaGamingQuotes

  • Publius

    @SenecaNation We’re experimenting with a new Wal-Mart style casino…layaway not included. #FakeSenecaGamingQuotes

  • SignWizard

    Why do we always have to be so critical of how people spend their $. I don’t see the surface parking being around forever there will be expansion on the property in the future. Once they decide what they think will be profitable. They are wise business people.

  • SignWizard

    Why do we always have to be so critical of how people spend their $. I don’t see the surface parking being around forever there will be expansion on the property in the future. Once they decide what they think will be profitable. They are wise business people.

  • LouisTully

    Is this a done deal? Does the City or Planning Board have any say since it’s their land?

  • sabres77

    So I back read a lot of the comments when this story first broke in 2007. The main theme of the backlash was the old plan did not respect the vision of Cobblestone being a “walkable” neighborhood. I think the simplicity of this design and theme will force visitors to explore the downtown area more before and after their visit to the casino as oppose to being stationary if the casino had a hotel. I am fine with this design, what did people want a Wynn type casino in buffalo?????

  • sabres77

    So I back read a lot of the comments when this story first broke in 2007. The main theme of the backlash was the old plan did not respect the vision of Cobblestone being a “walkable” neighborhood. I think the simplicity of this design and theme will force visitors to explore the downtown area more before and after their visit to the casino as oppose to being stationary if the casino had a hotel. I am fine with this design, what did people want a Wynn type casino in buffalo?????

  • JSmith

    Nope, that block is no longer part of Buffalo, so the Planning Board does not get a say. IMO, this casino will do nothing for Buffalo except drain the money from its citizens and tax the resources of its police force and local gambling/alcohol/suicide crisis centers. I don’t see any upside from having this casino in (but not of) our city.
    We should have let Cheektowaga have this thing when we had the chance!

  • JSmith

    Nope, that block is no longer part of Buffalo, so the Planning Board does not get a say. IMO, this casino will do nothing for Buffalo except drain the money from its citizens and tax the resources of its police force and local gambling/alcohol/suicide crisis centers. I don’t see any upside from having this casino in (but not of) our city.
    We should have let Cheektowaga have this thing when we had the chance!

  • armyof100clowns

    The Seneca Nation of Indians may be the Keepers of the Western Door, but I think they just gave it to the people of Buffalo in the backdoor . . .

  • brownteeth

    Those ideas are great but that’s a moot point now. While I’m not a fan of this design I’m definitley not a fan of vacant industrial land, rotting steel structures, or surface lots with absolutely nothing on them. Therefore let them build this with their money and whatever happens will happen. I won’t lose sleep over this. It’s not exactly prime real estate anyway. If anything we should be more upset about the lack of development on all the other surface lots closer to the water.

  • brownteeth

    Those ideas are great but that’s a moot point now. While I’m not a fan of this design I’m definitley not a fan of vacant industrial land, rotting steel structures, or surface lots with absolutely nothing on them. Therefore let them build this with their money and whatever happens will happen. I won’t lose sleep over this. It’s not exactly prime real estate anyway. If anything we should be more upset about the lack of development on all the other surface lots closer to the water.

  • townline

    Well – according to the rendering above, they’re adding a whole swath of NEW, PERMANENT vacant lots just 1 block from the water. Considering we are finally developing our waterfront, it does bother me a whole heck of a lot.

  • townline

    Well – according to the rendering above, they’re adding a whole swath of NEW, PERMANENT vacant lots just 1 block from the water. Considering we are finally developing our waterfront, it does bother me a whole heck of a lot.

  • nyc

    I know i am crying over spilled milk.
    And definitely agree about the rest of the area down there. I don’t see any vision for what is going to happen. I feel like we are going to stumble through a number of projects like this without a cohesive idea of what we are doing.
    In many ways, i can’t blame the Senecas for this garbage. It’s not like ECHDC put together a vision of how all these potential projects might integrate and make a destination, or even a new neighborhood where it feels integrated and cohesive. ECHDC can’t even get their own projects right (Donovan) This is the way things will likely continue in Buffalo. As i said before, Buffalo is void when it comes to civic leadership with real vision.

  • nyc

    I know i am crying over spilled milk.
    And definitely agree about the rest of the area down there. I don’t see any vision for what is going to happen. I feel like we are going to stumble through a number of projects like this without a cohesive idea of what we are doing.
    In many ways, i can’t blame the Senecas for this garbage. It’s not like ECHDC put together a vision of how all these potential projects might integrate and make a destination, or even a new neighborhood where it feels integrated and cohesive. ECHDC can’t even get their own projects right (Donovan) This is the way things will likely continue in Buffalo. As i said before, Buffalo is void when it comes to civic leadership with real vision.

  • Lego1981

    Please go back to the drawing board!!! What were they thinking????

  • Lego1981

    Please go back to the drawing board!!! What were they thinking????

  • SignWizard

    The project is expected to create 600 construction period jobs and 500 jobs when the casino is completed.
    HELLO!!! Is this not more important than design of a building your judging from a 4″ x 4″ sketch that will in 5 yrs most likely look nothing like it does now due to expansion and hummm even more jobs and $ for what will most likely be and increase of downtown residents something else the city needs.

  • SignWizard

    The project is expected to create 600 construction period jobs and 500 jobs when the casino is completed.
    HELLO!!! Is this not more important than design of a building your judging from a 4″ x 4″ sketch that will in 5 yrs most likely look nothing like it does now due to expansion and hummm even more jobs and $ for what will most likely be and increase of downtown residents something else the city needs.

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    THIS is a parking garage that Seneca should model after at Miami University (OH).
    Oh, and does a far better job of “blending” in with Cobblestone district with the materials they used.
    http://www.units.muohio.edu/prk/

  • hamp

    When the Senecas were asked years ago why they weren’t saving the HO silos their leader said they weren’t because they “don’t have to”.
    From day one, the Senecas have made it clear that the city and the rest of us could go to hell. This horrendous design is further proof that they are not to be trusted to look out for anyone but themselves.
    I also blame the architects for foisting such a piece of junk on the city. The Memphis and Buffalo architects surely know better. They’re doing only what their client wants, not what is good for the community.
    Memo to architects: You are professionals. As such, you are obligated to look out for the best interests of the general public. This proposal is a joke that you should all be too embarassed to present. You know this project is awful. It’s your responsibilty give the community something better.

  • hamp

    When the Senecas were asked years ago why they weren’t saving the HO silos their leader said they weren’t because they “don’t have to”.
    From day one, the Senecas have made it clear that the city and the rest of us could go to hell. This horrendous design is further proof that they are not to be trusted to look out for anyone but themselves.
    I also blame the architects for foisting such a piece of junk on the city. The Memphis and Buffalo architects surely know better. They’re doing only what their client wants, not what is good for the community.
    Memo to architects: You are professionals. As such, you are obligated to look out for the best interests of the general public. This proposal is a joke that you should all be too embarassed to present. You know this project is awful. It’s your responsibilty give the community something better.

  • longgone

    One thing to consider is the casino hotel would have been a 4Star hotel. Outside of the Mansion on Del…there is not a 4Star in the COB.
    Like it or not…that does impact conventions. But then again..the convention center is shitty so disregard the above point.

  • longgone

    One thing to consider is the casino hotel would have been a 4Star hotel. Outside of the Mansion on Del…there is not a 4Star in the COB.
    Like it or not…that does impact conventions. But then again..the convention center is shitty so disregard the above point.

  • brownteeth

    They don’t own that land though.

  • brownteeth

    They don’t own that land though.

  • townline

    Who doesn’t own what land?

  • townline

    Who doesn’t own what land?

  • brownteeth

    I share your sentiments for sure. This is not ideal but then again no one else is clamoring for this land. Either way it appears they’re moving forward with it so I will personally wait and see. And I won’t comment on the design when it’s funded 100% privately on a parcel of land that I doubt would ever be developed otherwise. I don’t see what we have to lose by having a casino in an otherwise desolate part of town.
    I will however criticize entities like the NFTA for their refusal of a proposal for concerts on the outer harbor that will make them $20k just for saying yes.

  • brownteeth

    I share your sentiments for sure. This is not ideal but then again no one else is clamoring for this land. Either way it appears they’re moving forward with it so I will personally wait and see. And I won’t comment on the design when it’s funded 100% privately on a parcel of land that I doubt would ever be developed otherwise. I don’t see what we have to lose by having a casino in an otherwise desolate part of town.
    I will however criticize entities like the NFTA for their refusal of a proposal for concerts on the outer harbor that will make them $20k just for saying yes.

  • Ryan

    Well said. It is clear the architects and Senecas do not care one bit how this design interacts within the rest of the neighborhood and the city.

  • Ryan

    Well said. It is clear the architects and Senecas do not care one bit how this design interacts within the rest of the neighborhood and the city.

  • brownteeth

    I was referring to the parking lots surrounded by Michigan, Scott, and Perry. I don’t see where the Seneca’s are adding any vacant lots closer to the water? Everything on there is contained to the land they already occupy. Perhaps we are talking about two different things?

  • brownteeth

    I was referring to the parking lots surrounded by Michigan, Scott, and Perry. I don’t see where the Seneca’s are adding any vacant lots closer to the water? Everything on there is contained to the land they already occupy. Perhaps we are talking about two different things?

  • brownteeth

    Umm, architects have obligtion to the public unless they work for a public entity. They do however have an obligation to the client who pays them. In this case this is private work and as such the client has final say. Don’t blame the cook when you should blame the person who ordered the food.

  • brownteeth

    Umm, architects have obligtion to the public unless they work for a public entity. They do however have an obligation to the client who pays them. In this case this is private work and as such the client has final say. Don’t blame the cook when you should blame the person who ordered the food.

  • AKBuffalo

    Yikes. A surface parking lot surrounded by a sea of parking spaces and a domed structure to center it.
    Isn’t 1,000 parking spaces a little excessive, especially considering the rail line runs right to that area (last stop is essentially First Niagara Center)?
    Make Canalside and the casino stops on the rail and eliminate half of those parking spaces. With all the momentum in that area, utilizing an existing rail service and making the area more walkable just seems like common sense to me. That’s my biggest regret with this design, other than its lack of imagination.

  • townline

    I was referring directly to the Casino property – which they are filling up with unimproved lots – that are destined to be there permanently. This property, that the SNI owns, is just 1 block from the water – right about the same distance as the aud block – which is considered waterfront development property.
    After decades of nothing are just seeing the beginning of Buffalo’s waterfront development. The casino property is not far away – it will not be long before its land and lands around it to become important parts of Buffalo’s waterfront – to dismiss it as better than whats there now is shortsighted and insulting to the waterfront efforts that have been made thus far.

  • STEEL

    This is an embarrassment to the Seneca nation. Either they are very stupid and were sold a bill of goods by their consultants or or they think everyone else is very stupid as they foist this junk on the city.
    What happened to the integrated urban plan they promised earlier? Count me, a former supporter, very, very disappointed.

  • Billo

    I actually think this is a victory for the anti-casino group. This is a very scaled down version of what the Senecas wanted, and in the meantime new and better hotels went up in other parts of downtown, which probably scared off the Senecas a little. The surface parking is probably excessive, but if that land one day becomes valuable enough to develop further I think you’ll see some expansion. I’m glad the casino is small and unobtrusive because it should not be part of the downtown Buffalo skyline.

  • brownteeth

    It’s not that close to the water, not the inner harbor anyway, it’s too far removed. There’s plenty of vacant industrial wasteland directly on the water to develop before we worry about former industrial wasteland a 1/2 mile inland surrounded by vacant buildings and projects.
    How is it short sighted to give land to a developer who actually has the means to develop it and is following through with those plans? Name one other $130 mill 100% privately funded project in Buffalo or WNY for that matter? I don’t think we’re in a position to deny any development of this magnitude on land that you probably couldn’t pay someone to take otherwise.
    Who is this magic white knight that we are saving this land for? If the surrounding area needs space for development I’m sure the owners of those adjacent lots (which are closer to Canalside and Cobblestone) will gladly sell them when the time comes.

  • brownteeth

    It’s not that close to the water, not the inner harbor anyway, it’s too far removed. There’s plenty of vacant industrial wasteland directly on the water to develop before we worry about former industrial wasteland a 1/2 mile inland surrounded by vacant buildings and projects.
    How is it short sighted to give land to a developer who actually has the means to develop it and is following through with those plans? Name one other $130 mill 100% privately funded project in Buffalo or WNY for that matter? I don’t think we’re in a position to deny any development of this magnitude on land that you probably couldn’t pay someone to take otherwise.
    Who is this magic white knight that we are saving this land for? If the surrounding area needs space for development I’m sure the owners of those adjacent lots (which are closer to Canalside and Cobblestone) will gladly sell them when the time comes.

  • Rand503

    The NY Times Sunday Magazine did a lengthy article about the Indian casinos in Connecticut (Foxwoods) and also touched upon the “gaming” industry over all.
    Over all, it’s declining. There are so many venues for gambling that even Atlantic City’s take has been in serious decline over the past few years. Las Vegas was smart — when everyone else started moving into their space, they moved forward and have rebranded themselves as both a family destination and as a “sin city” concept.
    If we must have a casino, and I really dont’ want one, but if we must, then at least it should do whatever it can to differentiate itself from all the other casinos out there. At least, that’s if you want to attract people beyond the immediate area. So that could mean that they are more integrated into the greater Buffalo “experience” for tourists, and make gambling — er, I mean gaming — as just one attraction.
    Since it appears that our current convention center is out of date and too small, perhaps those who want a larger convention center should team up with the Senecas and offer a convention center that offers slots and tourism? At least that’s a bit different from many other casinos.

  • Rand503

    The NY Times Sunday Magazine did a lengthy article about the Indian casinos in Connecticut (Foxwoods) and also touched upon the “gaming” industry over all.
    Over all, it’s declining. There are so many venues for gambling that even Atlantic City’s take has been in serious decline over the past few years. Las Vegas was smart — when everyone else started moving into their space, they moved forward and have rebranded themselves as both a family destination and as a “sin city” concept.
    If we must have a casino, and I really dont’ want one, but if we must, then at least it should do whatever it can to differentiate itself from all the other casinos out there. At least, that’s if you want to attract people beyond the immediate area. So that could mean that they are more integrated into the greater Buffalo “experience” for tourists, and make gambling — er, I mean gaming — as just one attraction.
    Since it appears that our current convention center is out of date and too small, perhaps those who want a larger convention center should team up with the Senecas and offer a convention center that offers slots and tourism? At least that’s a bit different from many other casinos.

  • townline

    Take a look at an aerial image.

  • Rand503

    Look at the bright side. When the casino finally fails, it can be easily converted into a Home Depot.
    Or maybe even a Bass Pro Shop.

  • Rand503

    Look at the bright side. When the casino finally fails, it can be easily converted into a Home Depot.
    Or maybe even a Bass Pro Shop.

  • oldwaiter

    Why does the water look so ominous and menacing?

  • oldwaiter

    Why does the water look so ominous and menacing?

  • Rand503

    “This new casino will be a national design leader for casinos in urban settings,” said Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter. Porter has sought to integrate the new casino project into the surrounding community over the past few months, and emphasized that point today.
    How Porter can say that with a straight face or how any reporter could write it down without laughing is beyond me. Anyone idiot could have designed something just as bad as this, and any half-wit could come up with something better. As for integrating it in the neighorhood — good lord — do they really think we are that stupid?

  • Rand503

    It’s so ugly a design, I really don’t think James Bond would ever set foot inside.

  • Rand503

    500 jobs? Please — don’t make me laugh. Casinos nationwide are contracting, not expanding. If you seriously believe all the hype that promoters put out, I have a convention center/baseball stadium/LRRT system to sell you.

  • Rand503

    500 jobs? Please — don’t make me laugh. Casinos nationwide are contracting, not expanding. If you seriously believe all the hype that promoters put out, I have a convention center/baseball stadium/LRRT system to sell you.

  • sabres77

    That’s why I don’t understand the outrage. People playing at the casino will have to dine and stay at a downtown establishment with this simple design. It’s definitely a win for downtown hotels and restaurants.

  • sabres77

    That’s why I don’t understand the outrage. People playing at the casino will have to dine and stay at a downtown establishment with this simple design. It’s definitely a win for downtown hotels and restaurants.

  • Rand503

    There is of course no thought to landscaping. Even in the rendering, the trees are few are far apart, and no other shrubs.
    Assume that’s the best — when they actually built it, the spindly trees they put in will quickly die, and they won’t bother replacing them. Geez — couldn’t they spring for at least a few flowers near the entrance?

  • Rand503

    There is of course no thought to landscaping. Even in the rendering, the trees are few are far apart, and no other shrubs.
    Assume that’s the best — when they actually built it, the spindly trees they put in will quickly die, and they won’t bother replacing them. Geez — couldn’t they spring for at least a few flowers near the entrance?

  • ReginaldQMerriweatherIV
  • townline

    This casino is not drawing anyone in from anywhere. this is designed to be the place where seniors are dropped off to spend 4 hours at a machine, talking to no one, until they’re out of money and their ride is here to take them back home. They are providing almost no amenities in this casino to bring anyone else in, only a simple american restaurant – just enough to get people food so they don’t leave when they get hungry.

  • townline

    This casino is not drawing anyone in from anywhere. this is designed to be the place where seniors are dropped off to spend 4 hours at a machine, talking to no one, until they’re out of money and their ride is here to take them back home. They are providing almost no amenities in this casino to bring anyone else in, only a simple american restaurant – just enough to get people food so they don’t leave when they get hungry.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/K44tq0UonOUrPrtLj5G.76a_#ca2bd

    So……333 Million to build that? 75% of that property is going to be asphalt!
    Imagine what you could do with 333 million dollars and that property. Many of us would have great ideas that would really have an impact on Buffalo.
    Is this casino going to have a large impact on the city of Buffalo? Is it going to create jobs and revive small business? Are people going to travel from Toronto, Rochester, or Cleveland to visit it? I think its a pretty easy NO.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/K44tq0UonOUrPrtLj5G.76a_#ca2bd

    So……333 Million to build that? 75% of that property is going to be asphalt!
    Imagine what you could do with 333 million dollars and that property. Many of us would have great ideas that would really have an impact on Buffalo.
    Is this casino going to have a large impact on the city of Buffalo? Is it going to create jobs and revive small business? Are people going to travel from Toronto, Rochester, or Cleveland to visit it? I think its a pretty easy NO.

  • brownteeth

    I’m very familiar with the area (I rent space on East Market)and I know the river is about a block south. However, there’s existing industrial businesses in between the casino and the river still fully in use that will probably stay that way for a long long time. Therefore, I don’t ever see any development happening in that direction where this land would inhibit that.

  • brownteeth

    I’m very familiar with the area (I rent space on East Market)and I know the river is about a block south. However, there’s existing industrial businesses in between the casino and the river still fully in use that will probably stay that way for a long long time. Therefore, I don’t ever see any development happening in that direction where this land would inhibit that.

  • Rand503

    Architects have to abide by zoning laws all the time, and those laws can dictate to a great degree how a building or complex is built.
    Furthermore, the architect is a licensed professional, just like a doctor or lawyer. As such, their jobs are not to do exactly what a client wants, but to educate their clients for a better outcome.
    As a professional architect, they should be proud to have something in their portfolio that is a success. I can’t imagine any self-respecting architect who would be proud of such a mess as this. So either the Senecas micromanaged the design process, or the architects are brain dead. Either way, it’s a signal that no quality client would ever want to hire them.
    Our greatest masterpieces of architecture were built by strong willed men like Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, HH Richardson and others who simply told their clients what was best for them. A good client put his trust in such a man, and if they do, you have greatness. If you don’t, you have crap like this.

  • Rand503

    Architects have to abide by zoning laws all the time, and those laws can dictate to a great degree how a building or complex is built.
    Furthermore, the architect is a licensed professional, just like a doctor or lawyer. As such, their jobs are not to do exactly what a client wants, but to educate their clients for a better outcome.
    As a professional architect, they should be proud to have something in their portfolio that is a success. I can’t imagine any self-respecting architect who would be proud of such a mess as this. So either the Senecas micromanaged the design process, or the architects are brain dead. Either way, it’s a signal that no quality client would ever want to hire them.
    Our greatest masterpieces of architecture were built by strong willed men like Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, HH Richardson and others who simply told their clients what was best for them. A good client put his trust in such a man, and if they do, you have greatness. If you don’t, you have crap like this.

  • Rand503

    Oh, sorry but that’s BS. Please cite one example where the “national media” has claimed there is “nothing to do” in Buffalo.
    The Washington Post did a travel item on Buffalo — a full page — just about six months ago highlighting all the things to do. The NY Times architecture critic did a multipage article about all the preservation and historical things going on. The garden mags have talked up the Garden Tour, claiming it’s the best in the country, and the arts magazines have rated Buffalo top for arts.
    Anyone who lives in Buffalo and thinks there is nothing to do is an idiot. Sorry for being blunt. But I travel to cities around the country and the world, and can rightly claim that there are more things to do in Buffalo than many cities twice the size.
    And if you really think that just because we get a casino, the “national media” is going to write up a story about Buffalo, you’re pretty naive. The proof? Buffalo HAS a casino, and I haven’t yet seen any story written that says Wow — go to Buffalo because they have a casino!

  • Rand503

    Oh, sorry but that’s BS. Please cite one example where the “national media” has claimed there is “nothing to do” in Buffalo.
    The Washington Post did a travel item on Buffalo — a full page — just about six months ago highlighting all the things to do. The NY Times architecture critic did a multipage article about all the preservation and historical things going on. The garden mags have talked up the Garden Tour, claiming it’s the best in the country, and the arts magazines have rated Buffalo top for arts.
    Anyone who lives in Buffalo and thinks there is nothing to do is an idiot. Sorry for being blunt. But I travel to cities around the country and the world, and can rightly claim that there are more things to do in Buffalo than many cities twice the size.
    And if you really think that just because we get a casino, the “national media” is going to write up a story about Buffalo, you’re pretty naive. The proof? Buffalo HAS a casino, and I haven’t yet seen any story written that says Wow — go to Buffalo because they have a casino!

  • Arch

    Really?! I like the rotting steel skeleton better.

  • sabres77

    The “Casino Critic Warns of Harm” section hits the nail right on the head. I for one don’t want a casino to dictate the identity of the city. It’s ridiculous people are up in arms over this.

  • sabres77

    The “Casino Critic Warns of Harm” section hits the nail right on the head. I for one don’t want a casino to dictate the identity of the city. It’s ridiculous people are up in arms over this.

  • townline

    if you’re so familiar with the area then you might be familiar with the brand new waterfront park that opened last year between this casino and the water, 1 block away. In fact they even reference it on their stupid site plan – take a look. Waterfront development has already moved into this area. Its close enough for a half-assed reference on the Casino Plan. If this site isn’t close enough to be important to the waterfront – why would they reference it?

  • townline

    if you’re so familiar with the area then you might be familiar with the brand new waterfront park that opened last year between this casino and the water, 1 block away. In fact they even reference it on their stupid site plan – take a look. Waterfront development has already moved into this area. Its close enough for a half-assed reference on the Casino Plan. If this site isn’t close enough to be important to the waterfront – why would they reference it?

  • pampiniform

    So where is your design then?

  • pampiniform

    So where is your design then?

  • Rand503

    Can someone print the full name and address of the architect? When I get that, I will print out all the comments from this article and mail them to him. He deserves to know what people think of his design.
    Real reporters would actually question the thinking behind this, and ask exactly how this integrates into the surrounding community.

  • Rand503

    Can someone print the full name and address of the architect? When I get that, I will print out all the comments from this article and mail them to him. He deserves to know what people think of his design.
    Real reporters would actually question the thinking behind this, and ask exactly how this integrates into the surrounding community.

  • impressingagent

    It is a very friendly design

  • Lego1981

    Temp jobs with a end result of a ‘suburban’ crappy building for us to see for decades after? NOT WORTH IT!

  • Ellzy

    For such a special city that needs every card stacked in its favor, this is a colossal step in the wrong direction. This is shameful and depressing.

  • Ellzy

    For such a special city that needs every card stacked in its favor, this is a colossal step in the wrong direction. This is shameful and depressing.

  • grad94

    to those complaining that the erie canal harbor development corp. did nothing, or that the city of buffalo is at fault for lack of vision, please remember: this land is no longer subject to city or state oversight. it was deeded to a foreign nation. it might as well be in canada or mexico. the seneca nation is under no obligation to build anything that meets our desires, laws, or regulations.
    sheesh, how may times did we warn you that surrendering a chunk of buffalo to another nation was a terrible idea? your response was to accuse casino opponents of puritanism and expanding the nanny state.
    suddenly lots of you sound like you expect that nanny state to step in now. well, guess what. it can’t.
    in other words: we. told. you. so.

  • grad94

    to those complaining that the erie canal harbor development corp. did nothing, or that the city of buffalo is at fault for lack of vision, please remember: this land is no longer subject to city or state oversight. it was deeded to a foreign nation. it might as well be in canada or mexico. the seneca nation is under no obligation to build anything that meets our desires, laws, or regulations.
    sheesh, how may times did we warn you that surrendering a chunk of buffalo to another nation was a terrible idea? your response was to accuse casino opponents of puritanism and expanding the nanny state.
    suddenly lots of you sound like you expect that nanny state to step in now. well, guess what. it can’t.
    in other words: we. told. you. so.

  • pampiniform

    It is certainly not the most inspired design I have ever seen. That place sounds like it is going to be the Hamburg Casino with table games.
    But the Senecas know their clientele well. That place is obviously built with locals in mind as its target demographic. I think the see of parking is a testament to that. And you know what, that place is going to use all that parking. The Senecas know what they are doing. That place is going to dog ood business. Just wait and see.
    In any case, even if I don’t care for the design, it really doesn’t matter what anyone except the indians think. They’ll build it and will do well. And then there will actually be something happening in the cobblestone ‘district’ on nongame nights.

  • whatever

    hamp>”Time for the City to turn off the lights and other utilities going to the Casino and call it a day.”
    Huh? What legal authority do you imagine “the City” has to shut off the casino’s utilities?
    Are you saying access to electricity and utilities should be a privilege that the “the City” allows only to buildings whose designs are endorsed by our local elites and urbanists?
    hamp>”Let a private developer come in and build something better.”
    If any private developers want to build something better around there, why don’t they just go ahead and do it? Why would it have to be on that parcel?

  • whatever

    hamp>”Time for the City to turn off the lights and other utilities going to the Casino and call it a day.”
    Huh? What legal authority do you imagine “the City” has to shut off the casino’s utilities?
    Are you saying access to electricity and utilities should be a privilege that the “the City” allows only to buildings whose designs are endorsed by our local elites and urbanists?
    hamp>”Let a private developer come in and build something better.”
    If any private developers want to build something better around there, why don’t they just go ahead and do it? Why would it have to be on that parcel?

  • LouisTully

    Can we take that land back?
    What’s that called, when you give someone something and then take it back?

  • LouisTully

    Can we take that land back?
    What’s that called, when you give someone something and then take it back?

  • Tim

    INDIAN GIVER!! sorry.

  • whatever

    Ok, but back when they were planning more amenities in a larger facility, some casino opponents complained very loudly about that too. (Saying hotel rooms or more restaurant space, etc. would take away spending from other businesses.)
    If any of those who criticized that way back then are now criticizing about not enough amenities, that would seem like a big flip flop.

  • whatever

    Ok, but back when they were planning more amenities in a larger facility, some casino opponents complained very loudly about that too. (Saying hotel rooms or more restaurant space, etc. would take away spending from other businesses.)
    If any of those who criticized that way back then are now criticizing about not enough amenities, that would seem like a big flip flop.

  • Rand503

    I can’t make a design — remember, it’s not my property, so I’m don’t have a right to criticize.
    However, if I were to design a casino for that property, I would have saved the HO grain elevator and made the inside a really cool party place for drinks and nightlife. That way, people can come to the casino and do things other than just gamble, thereby making it a destination point for a greater number of people.
    I would build out the casino right to the street curb on at least two of the streets, and have multiple entrances, as any suburban mall does. Where the parking is, I would have heavily landscaped it to hide the parking as best as possible (but have good signage so people know where to park), and make it as green as possible.
    On the street side of the casino, I would have several restaurants at different price points to attract more people who aren’t necessarily interested in gambling, but can nonetheless easily access the casino from the back end. This would attract people from the street and create foot traffic, while encouraging more patrons.
    I would also include at least a small display area or mini-museum on the history of the Seneca nation as part of the street side location.
    In short, I would be targeting not just gamblers, but a much wider swath of the population, including foodies and history buffs to add to my bottomline. Any smart businessman wants revenue from a variety of sources so that if one drops, there are others that can help make up the difference. You also want to attract people who wouldn’t normally go out of there way to gamble, but will go out of their way for a good restaurant or an interesting museum or history lesson. These people will spend money anyway, and if a certain percentage of them happens to play the slots, that adds even more to the bottomline.
    IOW, good design is a function of good business practices. I see neither in this plan. But that’s just my opinion and I certainly don’t want any one to say I am forcing my ideas on anyone.

  • Rand503

    I can’t make a design — remember, it’s not my property, so I’m don’t have a right to criticize.
    However, if I were to design a casino for that property, I would have saved the HO grain elevator and made the inside a really cool party place for drinks and nightlife. That way, people can come to the casino and do things other than just gamble, thereby making it a destination point for a greater number of people.
    I would build out the casino right to the street curb on at least two of the streets, and have multiple entrances, as any suburban mall does. Where the parking is, I would have heavily landscaped it to hide the parking as best as possible (but have good signage so people know where to park), and make it as green as possible.
    On the street side of the casino, I would have several restaurants at different price points to attract more people who aren’t necessarily interested in gambling, but can nonetheless easily access the casino from the back end. This would attract people from the street and create foot traffic, while encouraging more patrons.
    I would also include at least a small display area or mini-museum on the history of the Seneca nation as part of the street side location.
    In short, I would be targeting not just gamblers, but a much wider swath of the population, including foodies and history buffs to add to my bottomline. Any smart businessman wants revenue from a variety of sources so that if one drops, there are others that can help make up the difference. You also want to attract people who wouldn’t normally go out of there way to gamble, but will go out of their way for a good restaurant or an interesting museum or history lesson. These people will spend money anyway, and if a certain percentage of them happens to play the slots, that adds even more to the bottomline.
    IOW, good design is a function of good business practices. I see neither in this plan. But that’s just my opinion and I certainly don’t want any one to say I am forcing my ideas on anyone.

  • Rand503

    for cars, but not for the city.

  • Rand503

    for cars, but not for the city.

  • paulsobo

    It would have been better if they committed to making a regional tourism destination that could have tied the nearby Port of Buffalo through light rail to Niagara Falls. Perhaps attracting Great Lakes Cruise Ships with the offer of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
    The other side of the coin is that a smaller facility means less detriment to our community from gambling, less detriment to our city hotels, theaters and restaurants from the non-tax paying Casino unfairly competing with tax paying private sector businesses. It also means that the Seneca’s will not compete with our convention and conference business.
    So

  • paulsobo

    It would have been better if they committed to making a regional tourism destination that could have tied the nearby Port of Buffalo through light rail to Niagara Falls. Perhaps attracting Great Lakes Cruise Ships with the offer of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
    The other side of the coin is that a smaller facility means less detriment to our community from gambling, less detriment to our city hotels, theaters and restaurants from the non-tax paying Casino unfairly competing with tax paying private sector businesses. It also means that the Seneca’s will not compete with our convention and conference business.
    So

  • Rand503

    Why do you put such faith in the Senecas? The Peqoid tribe in Connecticut knew what they were doing when the opened the very first indian casino in the US. For years, they made tons of money. Then boom — several management mistakes, and now they are deeply in debt and struggling to stay afloat. They even hired a non-Indian to manage the casino because they really didn’t know how to climb out of their own mess.
    Markets change, the economic climate changes. What worked last year does not necessarily work this year. Just because someone wants to spend $130 million on a project doens’t mean that he knows how to make a success of it. News Flash: Most of Donald Trump’s projects have landed in bankruptcy court.
    I’m getting a little tired of this veneration of rich people or business people, that they all are smart businessmen who “know what they are doing,” and as a result are above any sort of criticism. Many people ARE smart, some are lucky, but quite a few, even the smartest, will fail. Even Warren Buffet has made investments that failed, and if there is anyone in America who “knows what he is doing,” it’s Buffet.
    But Buffet’s genious is that he doesn’t believe the hype around him, and actively solicits the advice of all sorts of people, even lowly people like us who don’t know anything. Because when you have common sense looking at something, you find things that even the smartest people can’t see. Buffet, the most successful investor our times, would be the last person to say, “trust me, I know what I’m doing.” He would instead ask you to do your own homework and apply your own common sense and smart business sense to determine whether an investment will be a good one.

  • PaulBuffalo

    ChristieLou, thank you, I just won a bet. Within an hour, you managed to get ships, light rail, and Muriel Howard in your posts. You’re much more dependable than any casino slot machine.

  • whatever

    Ok, at least those are some constructive criticisms instead of just saying it’s ‘disappointing’ or complaining it isn’t tall enough. Well, not using the HO oats grain elevator might not be constructive, since it would have been a huge cost driver.
    But otherwise, it seems your 5 big critiques are constructive/practical:
    – no multiple entrances like malls have
    – not enough greenery landscaping
    – not built out to the sidewalk/curb
    – not having multiple restaurants
    – not having a mini-museum about Seneca history
    One of those is mistaken – there are multiple entrances, 2 for the public plus 1 for workers. Shown here
    http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article782957.ece/BINARY/w620/casino2.jpg
    Two of your critiques are in direct conflict with other people’s criticisms, so for those they’re damned if they do or damned if they don’t.
    The first of those is multiple restaurants. As I noted to townline, a major criticism has been that they’d be taking customers away from other businesses. Having more restaurants as you suggest would be doing something critics (Donn Esmonde, etc.) complained about. The second is green space. We’ve often seen even the slightest amount of green space around city buildings be condemned on this blog as anti-urban. Now you’re saying you’d want it landscaped “as green as possible”. It’s fine for you to prefer that, but if they did it they’d be slammed by anti-green-space urbanists. (btw, isn’t there a fair amount of greenery shown in the drawing at top and also at that link showing entrances?)
    So that leaves not built out to sidewalk/curb and no mini-museum about Seneca history. And we don’t know for sure that they won’t have something like the latter inside or might add it some day.

  • biniszkiewicz

    great comment! I was wondering why no one was criticizing the surface lot together with the ramp. Why waste the space? Why not just the ramp and more green?

  • biniszkiewicz

    great comment! I was wondering why no one was criticizing the surface lot together with the ramp. Why waste the space? Why not just the ramp and more green?

  • hamp

    Wrong! There won’t be anything new happening in the Cobblestone District.
    People will be gambling in the casino, but due to the dumb design, you will never no it, and it will not be connected in any way, shape or form to the rest of the area.

  • hamp

    Wrong! There won’t be anything new happening in the Cobblestone District.
    People will be gambling in the casino, but due to the dumb design, you will never no it, and it will not be connected in any way, shape or form to the rest of the area.

  • hamp

    All the city has to do is shut off their utilities, and the project is toast.

  • hamp

    All the city has to do is shut off their utilities, and the project is toast.

  • Rand503

    Time will tell whether this business model will work. But I’m going to place my bets at the craps table and say that it will not work.
    Their mistake is to think that they are in the gaming business. They are, certainly to a degree, and those who are habitual gambers, that’s what they are. Habitual gambers, however, eventually run out of money, and you have to find more habitual — or shall we say gambling addicts — in order to maintain their margins. Buffalo doesn’t have a large population, nor a population that has tremendous amounts of disposible income. Eventually, those habitual gamblers will lose their house and their business and go too far into debt to continue, and another element will eventually go into gambler’s anonymous. (There is a growth business if anyone wants to make money).
    So just to maintain their margins, they need to attract new gamblers all the time. A reasonable person would say that you need to attract with in any way possible — attract tourists, foodies, history buffs, people who like to go boating, people who like to go clubbing, whatever. The Senecas are making an emphatic statement that they do NOT want those people. That’s a huge red flag.
    Now, that wouldn’t be so bad if casino profits overall are rising, but in recent years they have been falling, and quite dramatically. for those who argue that casinos “know what they are doing,” one need only look at Atlantic City, which is currently in a major freefall. Some casinos are actually losing money, which is extraordinarily difficult to do. Some out in the midwest or west, or on indian reservations, have closed. So please don’t tell me that casino operators “know what they are doing.” They can be just as blind as anyone else to the economic realities.
    If they were actually smart, they would realize they are in the tourism and hospitality business. If they did, then they would offer boat cruises on the Buffalo River and waterfront, they would have a small musuem to their own history, they would tie together with area hotels and restaurants and nightlife, filling niches that aren’t already served. (A high end Ethiopian restaurant? THAT would be a Buffalo draw!) Whatever — but realize that revenue is revenue and it doesn’t matter if it comes from the craps table or the diner table or from the tourist or from the addicted gambler.
    That’s their mistake. If I were an investor (and I am), I wouldn’t touch this business plan at all. Too many ways to fail, and not enough ways to succeed.

  • Rand503

    Time will tell whether this business model will work. But I’m going to place my bets at the craps table and say that it will not work.
    Their mistake is to think that they are in the gaming business. They are, certainly to a degree, and those who are habitual gambers, that’s what they are. Habitual gambers, however, eventually run out of money, and you have to find more habitual — or shall we say gambling addicts — in order to maintain their margins. Buffalo doesn’t have a large population, nor a population that has tremendous amounts of disposible income. Eventually, those habitual gamblers will lose their house and their business and go too far into debt to continue, and another element will eventually go into gambler’s anonymous. (There is a growth business if anyone wants to make money).
    So just to maintain their margins, they need to attract new gamblers all the time. A reasonable person would say that you need to attract with in any way possible — attract tourists, foodies, history buffs, people who like to go boating, people who like to go clubbing, whatever. The Senecas are making an emphatic statement that they do NOT want those people. That’s a huge red flag.
    Now, that wouldn’t be so bad if casino profits overall are rising, but in recent years they have been falling, and quite dramatically. for those who argue that casinos “know what they are doing,” one need only look at Atlantic City, which is currently in a major freefall. Some casinos are actually losing money, which is extraordinarily difficult to do. Some out in the midwest or west, or on indian reservations, have closed. So please don’t tell me that casino operators “know what they are doing.” They can be just as blind as anyone else to the economic realities.
    If they were actually smart, they would realize they are in the tourism and hospitality business. If they did, then they would offer boat cruises on the Buffalo River and waterfront, they would have a small musuem to their own history, they would tie together with area hotels and restaurants and nightlife, filling niches that aren’t already served. (A high end Ethiopian restaurant? THAT would be a Buffalo draw!) Whatever — but realize that revenue is revenue and it doesn’t matter if it comes from the craps table or the diner table or from the tourist or from the addicted gambler.
    That’s their mistake. If I were an investor (and I am), I wouldn’t touch this business plan at all. Too many ways to fail, and not enough ways to succeed.

  • whatever

    I’ve been sensing the Larkin HQ rebuild idea is falling out of favor. Maybe it’s good that nobody acted on that and rebuilt it, or now we might have to demolish it again due to lack of interest.

  • whatever

    I’ve been sensing the Larkin HQ rebuild idea is falling out of favor. Maybe it’s good that nobody acted on that and rebuilt it, or now we might have to demolish it again due to lack of interest.

  • hamp

    They must think we’re a bunch of idiots.

  • hamp

    They must think we’re a bunch of idiots.

  • hamp

    The problem is that due to the design it will not add any life to the area, and will not bring in other people besides those that drive to the casino and park. It will not be a bridge, but a barrier, especially for pedestrians. An enormous missed opportunity. That’s the problem.

  • hamp

    Wise business people? I don’t think so. They wouldn’t be taking down tons of rusting beams if they were wise business people.

  • hamp

    Wise business people? I don’t think so. They wouldn’t be taking down tons of rusting beams if they were wise business people.

  • hamp

    Wrong again. I’m a registered, professional architect, and I have a duty to protect the public, AND my client. That’s why I have to have a license to practice.

  • hamp

    Wrong again. I’m a registered, professional architect, and I have a duty to protect the public, AND my client. That’s why I have to have a license to practice.

  • nyc

    When everyone attacks it from a different and often conflicting angle, that just means that they didn’t get anything right, not a thing. It’s doesn’t mean that therefore everyone is wrong.
    There is hardly anything positive to say in the context of what the seneca nation had lead everyone to believe..”integrating with context, thinking about the city, new model for urban casino”..blah blah blah. serious, they can’t back up all their talk. If they had said, “look we are knocking down some historic buildings and putting up a big box surrounded by parking and tough shit” everyone would complain but you at least would not have all these comments born out of severe disappointment. We’d have 42 comments as of now rather than 125.

  • nyc

    When everyone attacks it from a different and often conflicting angle, that just means that they didn’t get anything right, not a thing. It’s doesn’t mean that therefore everyone is wrong.
    There is hardly anything positive to say in the context of what the seneca nation had lead everyone to believe..”integrating with context, thinking about the city, new model for urban casino”..blah blah blah. serious, they can’t back up all their talk. If they had said, “look we are knocking down some historic buildings and putting up a big box surrounded by parking and tough shit” everyone would complain but you at least would not have all these comments born out of severe disappointment. We’d have 42 comments as of now rather than 125.

  • hamp

    No, they will get in their cars and drive far away. And that’s because this dumb design is not connected to the rest of the city.

  • hamp

    Flip Flop doesn’t apply here. You’re watching too much TV news.
    Everyone is entitled to change there mind. Save the “flip flop” analogy for Mitt Romney.

  • hamp

    Flip Flop doesn’t apply here. You’re watching too much TV news.
    Everyone is entitled to change there mind. Save the “flip flop” analogy for Mitt Romney.

  • impressingagent

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they used some casino projects to build a windmill at steel winds to power the place.

  • impressingagent

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they used some casino projects to build a windmill at steel winds to power the place.

  • whatever

    nyc, I didn’t say either side is right or wrong in arguments about if they should have multiple restaurants or more green space.
    I just pointed out that Rand’s desire for multiple restaurants would conflict with strong opposition of that from others which I’m sure I’ve seen in the past.
    Likewise there can’t be simultaneously more green space as Rand suggests (“make it as green as possible” to quote him) and zero green space as I’ve seen many people on here say should be around urban buildings.
    That said, if there’s a sincere desire for more green space beyond what their proposal includes (already seems pretty green to me, but ok)… perhaps the Senecas would be open to that kind of suggestion.

  • whatever

    nyc, I didn’t say either side is right or wrong in arguments about if they should have multiple restaurants or more green space.
    I just pointed out that Rand’s desire for multiple restaurants would conflict with strong opposition of that from others which I’m sure I’ve seen in the past.
    Likewise there can’t be simultaneously more green space as Rand suggests (“make it as green as possible” to quote him) and zero green space as I’ve seen many people on here say should be around urban buildings.
    That said, if there’s a sincere desire for more green space beyond what their proposal includes (already seems pretty green to me, but ok)… perhaps the Senecas would be open to that kind of suggestion.

  • ReginaldQMerriweatherIV

    I always hoped the Seneca Nation would realize their calling of opening a high-end Ethiopian Restaurant.

  • broot

    I am all for this. I might add that perhaps they went from the much more aesthetically pleasing design to this less than ideal thanks to those Buffalonians who opposed the casino. Personally, I do not gamble and could care less about a casino though something in that area is better than nothing. I would have preferred something that did spread past the current site and tied in the waterfront. Since our attitude and opposition influenced their decision, this may be the only thing we can get in that spot. I can certainly think of worse establishments than a casino. I also find it embarrassing that we cannot fix up our own city and instead have to rely on them to offer grants. Grateful for any grants though. Why are we whining when someone is offering to help our town and possible employ some of our residents? Perhaps we are just afraid of change, 500 jobs sounds like something our community can benefit from.

  • broot

    I am all for this. I might add that perhaps they went from the much more aesthetically pleasing design to this less than ideal thanks to those Buffalonians who opposed the casino. Personally, I do not gamble and could care less about a casino though something in that area is better than nothing. I would have preferred something that did spread past the current site and tied in the waterfront. Since our attitude and opposition influenced their decision, this may be the only thing we can get in that spot. I can certainly think of worse establishments than a casino. I also find it embarrassing that we cannot fix up our own city and instead have to rely on them to offer grants. Grateful for any grants though. Why are we whining when someone is offering to help our town and possible employ some of our residents? Perhaps we are just afraid of change, 500 jobs sounds like something our community can benefit from.

  • whatever

    Let’s keep this civil.
    I didn’t imply anybody isn’t entitled to change their mind, even in a flip flopping way. Of course we’re all entitled to. At the same time, it’s also reasonable to point out when that happens (such as with Romney of course, and Obama, and Cuomo, and Gingrich…) and ask for explanations about it.
    Hypothetically – if the consensus is now that the community’s progressive leadership such as Goldman, Esmonde, etc. have changed their minds (I’m not suggesting you speak for them, but if there’s been a shift about this…) and would sincerely prefer that the casino would have more restaurants, then perhaps the Senecas might be open to that.
    It’s a matter of fact that there were complaints before in the opposite direction, but if that’s changed now, ok.
    At least adding more restaurants would be a reasonable constructive request. Disconnecting utilities, on the other hand, sounds illegal and I’d be surprised if the contract the Common Council ratified with the Senecas would allow for that.

  • whatever

    Let’s keep this civil.
    I didn’t imply anybody isn’t entitled to change their mind, even in a flip flopping way. Of course we’re all entitled to. At the same time, it’s also reasonable to point out when that happens (such as with Romney of course, and Obama, and Cuomo, and Gingrich…) and ask for explanations about it.
    Hypothetically – if the consensus is now that the community’s progressive leadership such as Goldman, Esmonde, etc. have changed their minds (I’m not suggesting you speak for them, but if there’s been a shift about this…) and would sincerely prefer that the casino would have more restaurants, then perhaps the Senecas might be open to that.
    It’s a matter of fact that there were complaints before in the opposite direction, but if that’s changed now, ok.
    At least adding more restaurants would be a reasonable constructive request. Disconnecting utilities, on the other hand, sounds illegal and I’d be surprised if the contract the Common Council ratified with the Senecas would allow for that.

  • grad94

    ooooooh! christylou bingo! can i play?

  • nyc

    its not about the quantity of green space or restaurants rather its about the second part of my comment.

  • elias

    i concur

  • elias

    i concur

  • PaulBuffalo

    Maybe, you’re right. A better business plan is the church bingo-fish fry-split club model. That’s done quite well in Buffalo at separating poor folks from their cash and, somehow, it’s never been seen as controversial.

  • Tim

    Habitual gamers don’t run out of money when they have steady social security/pension checks coming in. Just sayin’.

  • Tim

    Habitual gamers don’t run out of money when they have steady social security/pension checks coming in. Just sayin’.

  • PaulBuffalo

    Ontario legalizes brothels. Oh, well, I guess that second bridge will be required soon. Buffalo’s passport office will probably see increased business, too.

  • PaulBuffalo

    Ontario legalizes brothels. Oh, well, I guess that second bridge will be required soon. Buffalo’s passport office will probably see increased business, too.

  • impressingagent

    What kind of things should be there for investment? I wouldn’t mind a clothing store.

  • impressingagent

    What kind of things should be there for investment? I wouldn’t mind a clothing store.

  • biniszkiewicz

    wow. that came out of the blue.
    I’m in favor or brothels, myself. Seems to me that consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedrooms shouldn’t be subject to the moralizing judgments of the nanny state. Poor client number nine . . . shouldn’t have been such a hypocrite, though, prosecuting those madams before he himself was caught.
    Alas, we won’t have them here. Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight, indeed.

  • whatever

    “its not about the quantity…”
    To you it isn’t, but my reply to Rand was about his comment. He clearly suggested more green space and more restaurants, among other things.
    If you have a different viewpoint than him, maybe that got me confused a little.
    I don’t have a reaction to the 2nd part of your previous comment because I didn’t have any prior expectations of what they were going to propose based on their previous press releases. I took a wait and see approach.

  • pampiniform

    I argued that point before. I argued the reason the original design got held up was that the issue of whether or not the indians had the right to operate a casino on that land (aka was this realy sovereign land) was being contested in court, and either the indians smartly decided to hold off building the originally planned casino/hotel until the issue was decided, or their backers got scared off by the threat of losing their investment if the indians lost the lawsuit. As it stands, the court decision is kind of ambiguous. I know they blamed the economy, but how true is that? To hear the talk on this board during that period, I remember all of the people talking about how lucky it was that Buffalo didn’t get it as bad as a lot of the rest of the country, with a low rate of foreclosures and a lower rate of unemployment.
    I think that what we see here is the result of all of the opposition to the idea of a csino downtown. This is Buffalo getting the casino that it deserves.

  • pampiniform

    I argued that point before. I argued the reason the original design got held up was that the issue of whether or not the indians had the right to operate a casino on that land (aka was this realy sovereign land) was being contested in court, and either the indians smartly decided to hold off building the originally planned casino/hotel until the issue was decided, or their backers got scared off by the threat of losing their investment if the indians lost the lawsuit. As it stands, the court decision is kind of ambiguous. I know they blamed the economy, but how true is that? To hear the talk on this board during that period, I remember all of the people talking about how lucky it was that Buffalo didn’t get it as bad as a lot of the rest of the country, with a low rate of foreclosures and a lower rate of unemployment.
    I think that what we see here is the result of all of the opposition to the idea of a csino downtown. This is Buffalo getting the casino that it deserves.

  • pampiniform

    A barrier for pedestrians? From where to where? How is it a barrier to pedestrians? What are they tearing out the sidewalk? Or can’t the people cross the street? What does something like that even mean?

  • pampiniform

    A barrier for pedestrians? From where to where? How is it a barrier to pedestrians? What are they tearing out the sidewalk? Or can’t the people cross the street? What does something like that even mean?

  • Rand503

    I merely proposed a plan if “I” were the operator for the Seneca’s. If you want a design for what I think is best for the city ,that might very well be different. I can also give some sort of design for a world class architectural statement if I were a starchitect in charge.
    It all depends on your viewpoint.

  • Rand503

    I merely proposed a plan if “I” were the operator for the Seneca’s. If you want a design for what I think is best for the city ,that might very well be different. I can also give some sort of design for a world class architectural statement if I were a starchitect in charge.
    It all depends on your viewpoint.

  • RaChaCha

    H.O. Oats is moot, yes, but let’s not lose sight of the context: that complex had been purchased originally for an adaptive reuse housing project — that would have added greatly to the life of that district, as well as preserved some key heritage. If the casino project hadn’t come to Buffalo, or had located somewhere else, the H.O. Oats complex would likely be a very high-profile adaptive reuse success story — akin to the Elk Terminal and the Mississippi Street buildings nearby.

  • RaChaCha

    H.O. Oats is moot, yes, but let’s not lose sight of the context: that complex had been purchased originally for an adaptive reuse housing project — that would have added greatly to the life of that district, as well as preserved some key heritage. If the casino project hadn’t come to Buffalo, or had located somewhere else, the H.O. Oats complex would likely be a very high-profile adaptive reuse success story — akin to the Elk Terminal and the Mississippi Street buildings nearby.

  • pampiniform

    I thought the 333 million was to build the original, now shelved design. This one is almost certainly a fraction of the original, both in appearance and price.

  • pampiniform

    I thought the 333 million was to build the original, now shelved design. This one is almost certainly a fraction of the original, both in appearance and price.

  • DeanerPPX

    I’m trying (really hard) to look on the bright side of this. Obviously, it’s better than a temporary trailer and rusting skeleton. The lack of a hotel component means that perhaps, just perhaps, other downtown hotels can cash in and ensure that casino visitors are not confined to the single-block casino experience of never leaving the building once they get to town. (If the new hotel going into the Donovan is smart, they will offer overnight packages to visitors that include free tokens or something with a room booking, a reversal of the casinos that offer free rooms to loyal gamblers)
    It doesn’t even look like that design is large enough to house any dining facilities, so visitors will need to step out onto the street at some point to grab a bite to eat. If Canalside can lure a couple gamers out for lunch, maybe they;ll do some shopping and sightseeing too.
    The sea of parking looks like it is at least positioned in a way that would allow a hotel tower to be added along South Park at sometime in the future, though it obviously isn’t marked as such on the renderings. Hopefully, the parking deck and casino proper will be constructed in a way that would allow future upward expansion. If the Senecas cut their own throats by going with a design that does not allow for any further expansion, this does open the door for surrounding landowners to step in to fill the hospitality voids (unfortunately, as it is, this design simply doesn’t look like enough of a draw to create much of a demand for said voids to be created).
    I honestly can’t blame the Senecas for going with such a craptacular design. The city and state really forced them into taking the safest possible route in such a hostile environment (truthfully, we cut our own throats on this, and the Senecas followed our lead rather than taking their usual aggressively foreward stance).
    It allows other private developers to chip in on the opportunities that were lost, but really such a small casino is more of a novelty blip than anything that will encourage much surrounding development.

  • Rand503

    How about a high end native american food place?

  • Rand503

    How about a high end native american food place?

  • RaChaCha

    Two things:
    1) After seeing this design, it’s no surprise that over the last year every attempt to FOIL both the City of Buffalo and ECHDC for information about discussions underway with the Senecas about revised casino plans have come back EMPTY — with everyone claiming that nobody knows nothing.
    2) The Senecas have been very protective of this sovereign territory. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I’m going to assume that — even though it’s conveniently left out of the designs released today — in the end they’ll have a fence around the entire block.

  • RaChaCha

    Two things:
    1) After seeing this design, it’s no surprise that over the last year every attempt to FOIL both the City of Buffalo and ECHDC for information about discussions underway with the Senecas about revised casino plans have come back EMPTY — with everyone claiming that nobody knows nothing.
    2) The Senecas have been very protective of this sovereign territory. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I’m going to assume that — even though it’s conveniently left out of the designs released today — in the end they’ll have a fence around the entire block.

  • DeanerPPX

    For just a moment, it kinda resembled the Turtle in NF to me…

  • pampiniform

    Why do I put such faith in the Senecas? Why shouldn’t I? They make a pretty good sized little fortune out of their little blue shed as it stands right now. Have you ever been down there during the day on a weekday? The place has a pretty steady crowd in there now just for slots. I’d feel pretty good about building that place down there if I were them.
    In any case, what does it matter what kind of faith I put in them? If they close up shop down there, what is the big loss? Another empty lot to add the rest of the empty lots down there? Who loses the money? Not me. It’s not my money. If the indians want to take a chance on what so far has been a pretty good investment for them, then they should be free to do so. Just because people have a personal dislike for gambling doesn’t mean that everyone else should have to abstain from gambling as well.
    And who cares what Buffet and Trump have to say? Sure they’ve had their failures. In that line of work if you don’t take any risks and constantly play it safe, you’ll never make any money. Everyone loses sometimes. What makes you think that the Senecas haven’t done their homework on this whole issue?

  • pampiniform

    Why do I put such faith in the Senecas? Why shouldn’t I? They make a pretty good sized little fortune out of their little blue shed as it stands right now. Have you ever been down there during the day on a weekday? The place has a pretty steady crowd in there now just for slots. I’d feel pretty good about building that place down there if I were them.
    In any case, what does it matter what kind of faith I put in them? If they close up shop down there, what is the big loss? Another empty lot to add the rest of the empty lots down there? Who loses the money? Not me. It’s not my money. If the indians want to take a chance on what so far has been a pretty good investment for them, then they should be free to do so. Just because people have a personal dislike for gambling doesn’t mean that everyone else should have to abstain from gambling as well.
    And who cares what Buffet and Trump have to say? Sure they’ve had their failures. In that line of work if you don’t take any risks and constantly play it safe, you’ll never make any money. Everyone loses sometimes. What makes you think that the Senecas haven’t done their homework on this whole issue?

  • mikeraleighphd

    How is this disappointing to Buffalo Rising? I thought this site was about cheerleading development? Most of the things that get built in this city are just wealth pumps for the one percent.
    The distinction here is that a casino is a blatant wealth pump?

  • mikeraleighphd

    How is this disappointing to Buffalo Rising? I thought this site was about cheerleading development? Most of the things that get built in this city are just wealth pumps for the one percent.
    The distinction here is that a casino is a blatant wealth pump?

  • saltecks

    “….said Laura Kelly, director of the Old First Ward Community Association….At the get-go, President Porter and the Seneca Nation really did reach out to the different stakeholders in the community just to talk about what they were thinking about doing and what we thought about the project.”
    The result, Kelly and other community leaders hope, will be a Seneca casino that……avoids being a black box…
    “They’re looking at being less of an island [and something] that adds to…the district,” Kelly said. “As a community leader, I think that’s great.”

  • Rand503

    So they gave us a light brown hatbox instead. How thoughtful!

  • Rand503

    So they gave us a light brown hatbox instead. How thoughtful!

  • JohnMarko

    OMG – are they f—ing serious?!!!
    As an astute observer above remarked: This is craptastic!
    a “marquee Architect” that “specializes in casinos all over the country” that is “well know” for their work? REALLY? REALLY?
    I have worked almost exclusively in the “casino industry” for over 10 years exclusively now here in Vegas, and I have never ever heard of these wannabes.
    I’ve seen better car dealerships here – actually – almost all of the car dealerships would put this piece of crap to shame…
    Well – at least they got the NF one done by someone else that isn’t too bad…

  • JohnMarko

    OMG – are they f—ing serious?!!!
    As an astute observer above remarked: This is craptastic!
    a “marquee Architect” that “specializes in casinos all over the country” that is “well know” for their work? REALLY? REALLY?
    I have worked almost exclusively in the “casino industry” for over 10 years exclusively now here in Vegas, and I have never ever heard of these wannabes.
    I’ve seen better car dealerships here – actually – almost all of the car dealerships would put this piece of crap to shame…
    Well – at least they got the NF one done by someone else that isn’t too bad…

  • JohnMarko

    Elwrongo on Vegas.
    In fact, visitor count is back up to where it was before the Bush Depression – and is actually increasing all the time now…
    And, they are actually finishing a lot of the projects that got stalled during the Bush Depression.
    Granted, the rest of the Vegas economy still sucks bigtime compared to before, but there have actually been adverts for construction industry related jobs now where there were none previously.

  • JohnMarko

    Then you don’t know a thing how a design actually works in today’s environment.
    The client has the most say in any design, and especially in this climate – that is even more so.
    We’ve complained bitterly, and unless the client has unlimited funds to spend, and the Architect is a prima-dona marquee type – this is what usually happens.
    Think you have a “contract” and a fee for “professional” design expertise? Think again. Architect’s are basically good prostitutes now – the client’s say governs the day. The days of FLW are long gone for the forseeable future.
    Believe it or not, this design does meet all zoning/building codes and then some. And the Senecas are a “nation” unto itself and are not bound by anything code wise that Buffalo has – even tho they generally do follow the locality’s regulations. Let me say this again: AS A SEPARATE NATION, THE SENECAS DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW ANY LOCAL BUILDING CODES.
    We have run into this many times for Native American gaming venues – and are generally told to follow the local ordinances, but if push comes to shove, the tribe has the final say.
    I just wish they would have made a minimally competant design as we did for our casino complexes in St. Louis (county) and Pittsburgh. Both totally different from each other – one is very modern and “urban” and the other was designed to mimic late 1800’s design – and both are quite successful. In fact, the Owner always uses profits from their properties to finance improvements and new projects.
    On another note, with all the surface parking, this scheme lends itself to “upgrading” with minimal disruptions to the first design.
    But this design abortion is inexcusable…

  • JohnMarko

    Then you don’t know a thing how a design actually works in today’s environment.
    The client has the most say in any design, and especially in this climate – that is even more so.
    We’ve complained bitterly, and unless the client has unlimited funds to spend, and the Architect is a prima-dona marquee type – this is what usually happens.
    Think you have a “contract” and a fee for “professional” design expertise? Think again. Architect’s are basically good prostitutes now – the client’s say governs the day. The days of FLW are long gone for the forseeable future.
    Believe it or not, this design does meet all zoning/building codes and then some. And the Senecas are a “nation” unto itself and are not bound by anything code wise that Buffalo has – even tho they generally do follow the locality’s regulations. Let me say this again: AS A SEPARATE NATION, THE SENECAS DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW ANY LOCAL BUILDING CODES.
    We have run into this many times for Native American gaming venues – and are generally told to follow the local ordinances, but if push comes to shove, the tribe has the final say.
    I just wish they would have made a minimally competant design as we did for our casino complexes in St. Louis (county) and Pittsburgh. Both totally different from each other – one is very modern and “urban” and the other was designed to mimic late 1800’s design – and both are quite successful. In fact, the Owner always uses profits from their properties to finance improvements and new projects.
    On another note, with all the surface parking, this scheme lends itself to “upgrading” with minimal disruptions to the first design.
    But this design abortion is inexcusable…

  • JohnMarko

    The “barrier” for pedestrians is psychological – having to traverse thru a sea of asphalt as opposed to having something right next to the sidewalk as all good urban design does.
    Nobody can say this is anything even remotely close to anything like “urban” design…
    It’s a cheap suburban auto dealership – and that’s being generous…

  • JohnMarko

    The “barrier” for pedestrians is psychological – having to traverse thru a sea of asphalt as opposed to having something right next to the sidewalk as all good urban design does.
    Nobody can say this is anything even remotely close to anything like “urban” design…
    It’s a cheap suburban auto dealership – and that’s being generous…

  • Irish Dave

    I grew up in Buffalo, living in San Francisco 10 years and now live in Ireland. I have been reading Buffalo Rising forever. I’ve never posted a comment until now.
    My problem with the casino is only the design. Having a Casino has been a great idea since the Masiello days. People at Canalside or a Sabres game or concert or whatever need a reason to meander down the street. This is the key. “The Meander”. That’s what we did in San Francisco. Just walk around b/e there was never any giant parking lots in our way. For a good “Meander” you need beacons of interest to draw people over that way. Shops, a pub, half block later a cafe, then further down a toy store or whatever. It needs to lead people in their meander. (And ideally not in a wide, straight line, the street should also “meander”, curve and bend and not reveal what is down the street for 5 miles).
    A casino being one of these items on the meander is a cool thing and we’re lucky they want to build one. But it needs to be built to the curb for the meander to work. If the senecas want it to be a giant box, like a mall, fine, hotel, no hotel, who cares, but it needs to sit at the curb and have a series of shops, cafes, etc all along the sidewalk which you can meander to and enter and then walk through and into the casino area. Kind of like walking into a store’s entrance of a mall, you walk through the store and then into the larger mall common area.
    Some people will drive, fine. There should be parking, but at the back baby!

  • hamp

    Laura Kelly ( I never met her) sounds like she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
    A $1 million donation to an impoverished neighborhood can go a long way in silencing any potential critics. I think that’s what happened here.

  • hamp

    Laura Kelly ( I never met her) sounds like she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
    A $1 million donation to an impoverished neighborhood can go a long way in silencing any potential critics. I think that’s what happened here.

  • bung

    Another Buffalo trainwreck in the making.

  • bbvdm

    Quote: “The barrier is psychological…”
    OMG. I think I may have had it with this site.

  • bbvdm

    Quote: “The barrier is psychological…”
    OMG. I think I may have had it with this site.

  • RDUtoBUF

    Im a little late to the party so im hoping somone can fill me in on what some of the potential “positives” are for building this. Why would our leaders decide to give away part of our city to build a casino? It’s not like the Seneca’s wanted to build a hospital that would give out free healthcare or a new cancer research lab.
    It seems like the best argument anyone (who isn’t a Seneca) can come up with is “at least it’s something.” I can come up with a lot of instances where nothing would have been a lot better than “something.” what gives?

  • RDUtoBUF

    Im a little late to the party so im hoping somone can fill me in on what some of the potential “positives” are for building this. Why would our leaders decide to give away part of our city to build a casino? It’s not like the Seneca’s wanted to build a hospital that would give out free healthcare or a new cancer research lab.
    It seems like the best argument anyone (who isn’t a Seneca) can come up with is “at least it’s something.” I can come up with a lot of instances where nothing would have been a lot better than “something.” what gives?

  • brownteeth

    Let me rephrase, the professional athletes that have been saying openly in national media that Buffalo is a ghost town. I am by no means suggesting a casino is the solution to this, but it is one an entertainment option if that’s your thing.

  • brownteeth

    Let me rephrase, the professional athletes that have been saying openly in national media that Buffalo is a ghost town. I am by no means suggesting a casino is the solution to this, but it is one an entertainment option if that’s your thing.

  • brownteeth

    I know where “Peg’s Park” is. I’m sorry but that park, by foot or car, is nearly a 1/2 mile away with long existing businesses between them. When I think of waterfront development I don’t consider that part of the river as important as say Canalside or the already vacant outer harbor. I just don’t see how this land would have any bearing on waterfront development. There’s plenty of vacant land much closer to that part of the river to develop before you get this far inland.

  • The Boss

    RDUtoBuf it is about money, NYS and Buffalo get a cut of slot machine revenue. However the Senecas have stopped all payments due to a dispute over tax collection of Tobacco sales on Seneca land. It is a mess, and this design is a mess.

  • The Boss

    RDUtoBuf it is about money, NYS and Buffalo get a cut of slot machine revenue. However the Senecas have stopped all payments due to a dispute over tax collection of Tobacco sales on Seneca land. It is a mess, and this design is a mess.

  • brownteeth

    If the HO Oats silo were still standing I would be mad it’s not included too. But alas, it’s gone. We need to stop the “if the coach would have put me in…” mentality. Like I have already said, the design is less than great or ideal but its their property now, 100% their money, and will add far more life and vibrancy there than the other current option, nothing at all.
    What’s stopping those same interested developers of the HO Oats Silo from developing the silos actually on the water/river? I imagine those would make a better adaptive reuse housing development.
    Maybe this will fail, maybe not, who knows? We should probably focus our attention on the existing historic structures nearby in danger (Fairmount Creamery, Cobblestone, storage building on the river, etc). Those are far more important than vacant land and those will be the projects that make or break how great this section of town can be.

  • brownteeth

    If the HO Oats silo were still standing I would be mad it’s not included too. But alas, it’s gone. We need to stop the “if the coach would have put me in…” mentality. Like I have already said, the design is less than great or ideal but its their property now, 100% their money, and will add far more life and vibrancy there than the other current option, nothing at all.
    What’s stopping those same interested developers of the HO Oats Silo from developing the silos actually on the water/river? I imagine those would make a better adaptive reuse housing development.
    Maybe this will fail, maybe not, who knows? We should probably focus our attention on the existing historic structures nearby in danger (Fairmount Creamery, Cobblestone, storage building on the river, etc). Those are far more important than vacant land and those will be the projects that make or break how great this section of town can be.

  • RaChaCha

    Thanks for weighing in (and reading). So the Irish are now emigrating from Buffalo back to Ireland–? Holy Historical Reversals!
    Very good point about The Meander.

  • RaChaCha

    Thanks for weighing in (and reading). So the Irish are now emigrating from Buffalo back to Ireland–? Holy Historical Reversals!
    Very good point about The Meander.

  • RaChaCha

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you — my reply was specifically to the statements, “no one else is clamoring for this land” and “otherwise desolate part of town”. My point is that I think things would have trended exactly the opposite way by now, had Seneca Gaming not shown up on that particular scene.
    I’m not about mooning over H.O. Oats, or trying to bring it back. It’s just I’m not willing to give them any credit for changing a situation they created. Especially when I don’t think their change is much of an improvement.

  • RaChaCha

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you — my reply was specifically to the statements, “no one else is clamoring for this land” and “otherwise desolate part of town”. My point is that I think things would have trended exactly the opposite way by now, had Seneca Gaming not shown up on that particular scene.
    I’m not about mooning over H.O. Oats, or trying to bring it back. It’s just I’m not willing to give them any credit for changing a situation they created. Especially when I don’t think their change is much of an improvement.

  • Jesse

    Best part: if they built it “to the curb” and took all the advice from the urban planner wannabes, then everyone would whine and say “they just prevent people from leaving, there won’t be any secondary development!” and now that they’ve done the opposite with a much more ‘open’ design… someone call the waaaaaahmbulance!

  • 07newbie

    Burning tires on the interstate is also a mess.

  • 07newbie

    Burning tires on the interstate is also a mess.

  • townline

    What?! Now you are just making things up! Peg’s Park is exactly 610 feet away, on foot, by sidewalk. That is just over than 0.10 miles.
    Yes there is a partially occupied industrial block along this walk – but are you kidding?! We have so many blocks of industrial that are no longer occupied, what makes you think that this block will be permanently occupied. Besides, directly across the street are 2 even larger blocks – completely vacant!!! You don’t see them as potential for development, with all of the Waterfront momentum and a brand new park constructed directly across the street?!?! This is what I mean about Short Sighted!!!
    This is why Buffalo’s harbor and waterfront areas need a Master Development Plan!!!! ARGH!

  • townline

    What?! Now you are just making things up! Peg’s Park is exactly 610 feet away, on foot, by sidewalk. That is just over than 0.10 miles.
    Yes there is a partially occupied industrial block along this walk – but are you kidding?! We have so many blocks of industrial that are no longer occupied, what makes you think that this block will be permanently occupied. Besides, directly across the street are 2 even larger blocks – completely vacant!!! You don’t see them as potential for development, with all of the Waterfront momentum and a brand new park constructed directly across the street?!?! This is what I mean about Short Sighted!!!
    This is why Buffalo’s harbor and waterfront areas need a Master Development Plan!!!! ARGH!

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMphMztfvgC-hSMOYheqVOh-I3me3nKY8

    Leaving out the additional amenities is a plus in that non-Seneca businesses can fill the needs (hotels, restaurants, etc). But putting the casino structure in the middle of a sea of parking negates any pathways for those businesses to connect through.
    The best current scenario for this would be at Perry and Mississippi to compliment all the eating establishments on Mississippi. How about a land swap? As of now, the current site would still need development to fill the south side of Perry from Mississippi to Michigan to get any “connection” to the casino.
    Where it sits at this place and time the site plan makes “sense” since it is an island. But if we have any plans for the future and it involves a goal other than more surface lots than structures, this site plan is not it.

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMphMztfvgC-hSMOYheqVOh-I3me3nKY8

    Leaving out the additional amenities is a plus in that non-Seneca businesses can fill the needs (hotels, restaurants, etc). But putting the casino structure in the middle of a sea of parking negates any pathways for those businesses to connect through.
    The best current scenario for this would be at Perry and Mississippi to compliment all the eating establishments on Mississippi. How about a land swap? As of now, the current site would still need development to fill the south side of Perry from Mississippi to Michigan to get any “connection” to the casino.
    Where it sits at this place and time the site plan makes “sense” since it is an island. But if we have any plans for the future and it involves a goal other than more surface lots than structures, this site plan is not it.

  • bobbyraz49

    I venture out of the Las Vegas casino’s all the time !!
    But then again , I only go there 3-4 times a year !

  • bobbyraz49

    I venture out of the Las Vegas casino’s all the time !!
    But then again , I only go there 3-4 times a year !

  • cyndrome

    I never understood what legal right the city administration had to give a parcel of our city to an entity that considers itself a ‘sovereign nation’. Now we have to live with this black hole.

  • brownteeth

    Ok so we’re splitting hairs over the exact distance. The fact remains, Canalside is the real waterfront attraction, not along the river. Peg’s Park was the closest undeveloped land on the river until she turned it into a very well laid out park.
    There is no direct access from the Casino site to the water. You have Malamute, Swanni, Buffalo Electric Motor, DLW NFTA Train shed, Nicholson & Hall, The Edward Cotter Fireboat house, the drawbridge and a couple non-descript buildings all in between the Casino site and the river as well as the park.
    Therefore I don’t see how this land has any bearing on riverfront development. And it’s way too far from Canalside to be considered “waterfront” development, especially when there’s already a sea of parking lots in-between that are shovel ready. Given all this I don’t see how you can say the casino interferes with waterfront development in any way?
    The problem with a masterplan that encompasses this large of an area (Canalside to Casino to the river) is that it’s too large of an area for any one entity to develop. We need a number of various different developers to contribute their respective pieces of the pie. Canalside can’t even come up with a master plan for their site as it is beyond the infrastructure. To me the casino development is part of the organic process that will eventually lead to a larger district that has something for everyone.

  • brownteeth

    Maybe that developer would have been successful turnig HO into housing, maybe nothing would have happened, who knows? However, given the abundance of similar structures located directly on the water (better location imo) I would imagine they would have turned their sights on those after this deal fell through. That leads me to believe that this land would still be vacant today regardless of the Seneca’s.

  • brownteeth

    Maybe that developer would have been successful turnig HO into housing, maybe nothing would have happened, who knows? However, given the abundance of similar structures located directly on the water (better location imo) I would imagine they would have turned their sights on those after this deal fell through. That leads me to believe that this land would still be vacant today regardless of the Seneca’s.

  • brownteeth

    Easy to say until you get a contract this large and the owner wants what they want. Besides, how does it work when building on sovereign territory? Just because we don’t ‘like’ the design doesn’t mean that they didn’t design it with the public in mind, even if it falls short on expectations.

  • brownteeth

    Easy to say until you get a contract this large and the owner wants what they want. Besides, how does it work when building on sovereign territory? Just because we don’t ‘like’ the design doesn’t mean that they didn’t design it with the public in mind, even if it falls short on expectations.

  • brownteeth

    You have a license to practice because you went to school, you have a job because clients hire you to design for them. I work in commercial construction management and hate 80% of the projects I work on. My opinion doesn’t matter. I don’t agree with it but that’s the industry norm unfortunately.

  • Rand503

    Well said. There are those who are trying to label us hypocrites for first complaining that they had too many hotel rooms and restaurants and now they don’t have enough, and you explain the position well.
    I hate casinos, and in part because they are self contained units. Almost every casino built in Vegas, Atlantic City or anywhere else is also a hotel with restaurants and shops inside. There is never a reason to step out of the place, and that’s by design. As a result, no casino has ever sparked any economic developement outside its doors. After all the casinos have been built in Atlantic City the city itself is still a major shithole. So, no, I don’t see any benefit to Buffalo to have that.
    So now they claim that they want to integrate into the city. Great! At least that’s something, and if we must have a casino, at least let the city actually benefit from the increased traffic, both car and foot. But this design does not even do that. Every study on urban patterns shows that people don’t like walking across parking lots to get to someplace. It’s like a forbidding and invisible wall. People, however, enjoy walking down city sidewalks where there is activity.
    So this plan violates every known principle of urban design. It will not likely increase the usage of restaurants or shops anywhere nearby, even if more are built. It’s just too much of a psychologicial barrier that has been proven.
    Doubt me? Look at ow Shea’s was built — right to the curb, and that helped create the theater district in the 1920s. Today, it is a major anchor for the neighborhood, and helps to support bars and restaurants.

  • Rand503

    Well said. There are those who are trying to label us hypocrites for first complaining that they had too many hotel rooms and restaurants and now they don’t have enough, and you explain the position well.
    I hate casinos, and in part because they are self contained units. Almost every casino built in Vegas, Atlantic City or anywhere else is also a hotel with restaurants and shops inside. There is never a reason to step out of the place, and that’s by design. As a result, no casino has ever sparked any economic developement outside its doors. After all the casinos have been built in Atlantic City the city itself is still a major shithole. So, no, I don’t see any benefit to Buffalo to have that.
    So now they claim that they want to integrate into the city. Great! At least that’s something, and if we must have a casino, at least let the city actually benefit from the increased traffic, both car and foot. But this design does not even do that. Every study on urban patterns shows that people don’t like walking across parking lots to get to someplace. It’s like a forbidding and invisible wall. People, however, enjoy walking down city sidewalks where there is activity.
    So this plan violates every known principle of urban design. It will not likely increase the usage of restaurants or shops anywhere nearby, even if more are built. It’s just too much of a psychologicial barrier that has been proven.
    Doubt me? Look at ow Shea’s was built — right to the curb, and that helped create the theater district in the 1920s. Today, it is a major anchor for the neighborhood, and helps to support bars and restaurants.

  • jhorn

    irish dave- meandering is not part of the casino vocabulary, they are designed to keep you in the building, spending money- from the in-house buffets to the absence of clocks on the walls.
    cyndrome- there is a long, tawdry history surrounding the legality of the casino. most of the “stink” surrounding the giveaway emanates from the federal dept. of the interior, but the city is no rose either. see the bruce fisher article in the june 30th, 2011 artvoice for an overview. there has been at least one ruling in favor of the senecas since the article but i think the battle is still ongoing.

  • jhorn

    irish dave- meandering is not part of the casino vocabulary, they are designed to keep you in the building, spending money- from the in-house buffets to the absence of clocks on the walls.
    cyndrome- there is a long, tawdry history surrounding the legality of the casino. most of the “stink” surrounding the giveaway emanates from the federal dept. of the interior, but the city is no rose either. see the bruce fisher article in the june 30th, 2011 artvoice for an overview. there has been at least one ruling in favor of the senecas since the article but i think the battle is still ongoing.

  • saltecks

    What concerns me most about this design is it may detract from the classic architecture of the Malamute grill.

  • saltecks

    What concerns me most about this design is it may detract from the classic architecture of the Malamute grill.

  • RaChaCha

    Well, the H.O. Oats complex was a unique case compared with silos & other buildings on the Buffalo River that were associated with grain & milling. H.O. Oats was a set of compact, nearly indestructible (I watched the wrecking ball bounce off on the first strike) silos attached to a larger complex of milling buildings of the kind of construction that has been well adapted for loft conversions around Buffalo. And in a location well-positioned to piggyback on revitalization developments in the Cobblestone District, Inner Harbor, and Ohio Street. Nothing like that kind of critical mass has reached the areas where the other grain elevators & associated buildings are. So it’s somewhat apples and oranges.
    This would be an interesting topic o’ chat next time I run into you @ BYP. In the meantime, if you have a special interest in the grain elevators on the Buffalo River, don’t miss the great events on tap this weekend at the Silo City complex on Child Street for Boom Days. Event & tours inside the Perot elevator & malting complex!

  • cyndrome

    Thanks, Jhorn. I will reread the article. It is a complex mess, from what I recall much of the problem is based with poorly written legislation, the intent of which was to allow Native Americans to establish gambling on their own territories…but which was then ”applied” by tribes, such as the Senecas, to additional acquired lands.

  • cyndrome

    Thanks, Jhorn. I will reread the article. It is a complex mess, from what I recall much of the problem is based with poorly written legislation, the intent of which was to allow Native Americans to establish gambling on their own territories…but which was then ”applied” by tribes, such as the Senecas, to additional acquired lands.

  • saltecks

    The only concern I have with this particular design is that it may detract from the classic architecture of the Malamute Grill.

  • Billo

    Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly what the planners were thinking when they designed this (roll eyes). The Senecas are business people. They are not going to throw up a bunch of extra amenities unless they believe they will get a good return on their investment. I suspect they are coming to the realization that the casino market (both in New York and surrounding states) is now saturated and you aren’t going to bring in a ton of outsiders and extra profits just by making the area a so called destination spot. Casiinos are old news and most people spend their time and money on other activities. The scaled back design is reflective of all this, which is really a good thing when you think about it.

  • Billo

    Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly what the planners were thinking when they designed this (roll eyes). The Senecas are business people. They are not going to throw up a bunch of extra amenities unless they believe they will get a good return on their investment. I suspect they are coming to the realization that the casino market (both in New York and surrounding states) is now saturated and you aren’t going to bring in a ton of outsiders and extra profits just by making the area a so called destination spot. Casiinos are old news and most people spend their time and money on other activities. The scaled back design is reflective of all this, which is really a good thing when you think about it.

  • Tim

    By Calling the economic situation the ‘bush depression,’ twice, without offering any sort of evidence to back it up means you are simply regurgitating and spreading tired and simplistic catch phrase notions of what really went down.
    And yes, it is very easy to be doing well when we spend 1.4 trillion/year more than we take in. I mean personally it’s great being in debt. Maxing out credit cards and compulsive shopping is fun and easy. I’ve brought this up before, but people forget this fundamental fact when spreading their lies.

  • Tim

    By Calling the economic situation the ‘bush depression,’ twice, without offering any sort of evidence to back it up means you are simply regurgitating and spreading tired and simplistic catch phrase notions of what really went down.
    And yes, it is very easy to be doing well when we spend 1.4 trillion/year more than we take in. I mean personally it’s great being in debt. Maxing out credit cards and compulsive shopping is fun and easy. I’ve brought this up before, but people forget this fundamental fact when spreading their lies.

  • DTK2OD

    “if they built it “to the curb” and took all the advice from the urban planner wannabes, then everyone would whine and say “they just prevent people from leaving, there won’t be any secondary development!”
    How does the siting of the building change the services offered within? This building is atrocious, but even if it was pushed to front Michigan and South Park it would at least begin to rebuild a street wall and encourage pedestrian activity. The argument could be said for ANY development that is fronted by parking. Yes, parking is a necessary evil and a vast majority of people use cars as their primary form of transportation, but how hard is it to put parking in the back and the actual storeFRONT in front?

  • DTK2OD

    “if they built it “to the curb” and took all the advice from the urban planner wannabes, then everyone would whine and say “they just prevent people from leaving, there won’t be any secondary development!”
    How does the siting of the building change the services offered within? This building is atrocious, but even if it was pushed to front Michigan and South Park it would at least begin to rebuild a street wall and encourage pedestrian activity. The argument could be said for ANY development that is fronted by parking. Yes, parking is a necessary evil and a vast majority of people use cars as their primary form of transportation, but how hard is it to put parking in the back and the actual storeFRONT in front?

  • Rand503

    You can’t keep them away from Joyce, what with all that meadering….

  • Rand503

    You can’t keep them away from Joyce, what with all that meadering….

  • pampiniform

    Well, they didn’t have to give anbody anything, so there’s that. In any case, how many people that live down there really care if there is a casino there? Say perhaps the average resident of the Perry Street Projects? I would bet they probably couldn’t care less.

  • pampiniform

    Well, they didn’t have to give anbody anything, so there’s that. In any case, how many people that live down there really care if there is a casino there? Say perhaps the average resident of the Perry Street Projects? I would bet they probably couldn’t care less.

  • pampiniform

    Well, the cigarette tax issue may have played a part, but the issue that the indians are citing as the reason they stopped paying the state its share of the take from their casinos was that the original agreement gave the Senecas exclusive rights to running slots casinos in this part of the state. The Senecas clain that since the state violated their portion of the agreement when they allowed slots casinos in Batavia and Hamburg, that the nation is not obliged any longer to hold up their end of the agreement. Last I heard it was going to go to the courts to decide. You can certainly argue convincingly that the original deal NYS made with the indians was stupid, but I don’t blame the indians.

  • pampiniform

    Well, the cigarette tax issue may have played a part, but the issue that the indians are citing as the reason they stopped paying the state its share of the take from their casinos was that the original agreement gave the Senecas exclusive rights to running slots casinos in this part of the state. The Senecas clain that since the state violated their portion of the agreement when they allowed slots casinos in Batavia and Hamburg, that the nation is not obliged any longer to hold up their end of the agreement. Last I heard it was going to go to the courts to decide. You can certainly argue convincingly that the original deal NYS made with the indians was stupid, but I don’t blame the indians.

  • pampiniform

    I love comments like that, particularly when they come from someone who lives out of town. I’m sure you’ve actually seen that neighborhood before? Who do you think actually is going to walk to the casino? The neighbors? That place isn’t built with them in mind.
    If you want a “psychologic barrier” to pedestrians, there already is a huge one in that area in the form of the Perry Projects. How many people do you think are going to gladly walk around that neighborhood at night?

  • whatever

    rand>”those who are trying to label us hypocrites for first complaining that they had too many hotel rooms and restaurants and now they don’t have enough and you explain the position well.”
    Huh? I didn’t/wouldn’t assume you (or IrishDave) were among those who once complained about the possibility of the Seneca’s casino including non-gambling business components. If you didn’t, then there’s no inconsistency. There’s no basis for you to infer that I was calling any particular individuals hypocrites. I didn’t.
    I did dare to mention the Damned-if-they-do-Damned-if they-don’t nature of this complaint because – and this isn’t disputable (I’m sure I could link to it, if you doubt me) – it was a big part of some vocal people’s complaints years ago that any non-gambling business aspects the Senecas offered as part of a casino on their property would unfairly compete with other Buffalo businesses. I didn’t at all say you were one of those who back then said that.
    Now this week, a big part of complaints on here seems to be that the Seneca’s won’t offer enough non-gambling aspects – restaurants, shops, etc. – as part of the casino on their property.
    While it isn’t about hypocrisy necessarily, it does go to show they can’t please everyone when there’s such opposing complaints. -shrug-
    Same with the greenery being too little vs. too much.
    I do at least understand the complaint about not building to the sidewalk/curb, while also understanding reasons for sometimes not doing that.

  • whatever

    rand>”those who are trying to label us hypocrites for first complaining that they had too many hotel rooms and restaurants and now they don’t have enough and you explain the position well.”
    Huh? I didn’t/wouldn’t assume you (or IrishDave) were among those who once complained about the possibility of the Seneca’s casino including non-gambling business components. If you didn’t, then there’s no inconsistency. There’s no basis for you to infer that I was calling any particular individuals hypocrites. I didn’t.
    I did dare to mention the Damned-if-they-do-Damned-if they-don’t nature of this complaint because – and this isn’t disputable (I’m sure I could link to it, if you doubt me) – it was a big part of some vocal people’s complaints years ago that any non-gambling business aspects the Senecas offered as part of a casino on their property would unfairly compete with other Buffalo businesses. I didn’t at all say you were one of those who back then said that.
    Now this week, a big part of complaints on here seems to be that the Seneca’s won’t offer enough non-gambling aspects – restaurants, shops, etc. – as part of the casino on their property.
    While it isn’t about hypocrisy necessarily, it does go to show they can’t please everyone when there’s such opposing complaints. -shrug-
    Same with the greenery being too little vs. too much.
    I do at least understand the complaint about not building to the sidewalk/curb, while also understanding reasons for sometimes not doing that.

  • Bison716

    I ACTUALLY LIKE THE DESIGN! We all knew that the hotel feature was going to be missing from the plans so why is that a surprise. The 4 story garage and the 5-6 story Casino itself is setup waaaaaay better than the previous renderings for the site. I do miss the idea of adding to our skyline with the hotel feature, but who’s to say that this won’t be added on the future by another developer or the Seneca’s themselves. I can’t wait what the improvements will look like in that area, especially with the $1 million in grants to help the surrounding area. Who else does this?

  • Bison716

    I ACTUALLY LIKE THE DESIGN! We all knew that the hotel feature was going to be missing from the plans so why is that a surprise. The 4 story garage and the 5-6 story Casino itself is setup waaaaaay better than the previous renderings for the site. I do miss the idea of adding to our skyline with the hotel feature, but who’s to say that this won’t be added on the future by another developer or the Seneca’s themselves. I can’t wait what the improvements will look like in that area, especially with the $1 million in grants to help the surrounding area. Who else does this?

  • onestarmartin

    Looks like a strip club.

  • nyc

    do i win a prize?

  • nyc

    do i win a prize?

  • hamp

    The project is awful. And we’re not just talking about the “design”.
    I don’t care about the skyline or what fancy materials the place will have.
    The point is that with Canalside, Cobblestone District, etc., we are trying to create a dense, attractive urban environment, that can be a destination.
    The way the gambling hall is situated on the site is a major setback to this goal. The main feature is an huge, ugly parking lot. This detracts from the area, and will not draw people.
    Exactly what about that do you like???

  • hamp

    The project is awful. And we’re not just talking about the “design”.
    I don’t care about the skyline or what fancy materials the place will have.
    The point is that with Canalside, Cobblestone District, etc., we are trying to create a dense, attractive urban environment, that can be a destination.
    The way the gambling hall is situated on the site is a major setback to this goal. The main feature is an huge, ugly parking lot. This detracts from the area, and will not draw people.
    Exactly what about that do you like???

  • hamp

    Where is the City on this? Where is the Planning Department?
    Yes this is sovereign territory, but the City still has some cards to play if it chooses to.
    The gambling hall will rely on public services like water and sewer. And most likely the Buffalo Police and Fire Departments. The Senecas won’t be able to open without some collaboration with the City.
    Now is the time for Mayor Brown, the Common Council and others to play hardball.
    The proposed building is an affront to the city, and detracts from all the other good things happening downtown. Now is the time to put the breaks on, until a better plan is presented.
    If not, pull the plug on their utilities, close off the streets surrounding it, etc. Shut them down, until they start doing whats good for the community.

  • hamp

    Where is the City on this? Where is the Planning Department?
    Yes this is sovereign territory, but the City still has some cards to play if it chooses to.
    The gambling hall will rely on public services like water and sewer. And most likely the Buffalo Police and Fire Departments. The Senecas won’t be able to open without some collaboration with the City.
    Now is the time for Mayor Brown, the Common Council and others to play hardball.
    The proposed building is an affront to the city, and detracts from all the other good things happening downtown. Now is the time to put the breaks on, until a better plan is presented.
    If not, pull the plug on their utilities, close off the streets surrounding it, etc. Shut them down, until they start doing whats good for the community.

  • Chris

    This is clearly a mistake brought you to by the same group that brought to live “Biff Tannan’s” casino in Niagara Falls. What do you expect?

  • Chris

    This is clearly a mistake brought you to by the same group that brought to live “Biff Tannan’s” casino in Niagara Falls. What do you expect?

  • hamp

    I don’t expect much from these folks. Angry people with no taste, and no ethics. A very bad combination.
    The City still has some leverage, and it should use it.
    They should take a look at the Seneca’s original agreement with the state. Didn’t the Senecas commit to building a “destination” casino, that would attract people from a distance?
    Now, with their gambling hall and McDonalds grille, they’ll be sucking money from locals only.

  • hamp

    The Senecas do not own the water, electricity and other services that go to their sovereign territory. The City is allowing them to access these services. And yes, if the Senecas want to put up a piece of trash, because “they can” then the city can act in its best interest and shut off their utilities.
    If the Senecas work with the city and come up with something better, they get their water. If not, the City can put them out of business. Same thing if the city wants to close down the streets surrounding the casino to block access, they could. And they should.
    The City already has the legal authority to do all of this.
    No other developer can build a casino at this time, as casinos are not legal in New York State, except if they’re on sovereign indian land. This will all change in a few years, when NYS makes casinos legal.
    Instead of accepting this piece of junk, the City should wait and cut a much better deal with a private developer, that will build something that does not detract from downtown as the Seneca’s current proposal does.
    Bottom line: the Senecas are not living up to the agreement they initially signed with the state, to build a resort style casino as a tool to create economic development. They’re current proposal is a joke that falls far short of their original commitment.

  • hamp

    The Senecas do not own the water, electricity and other services that go to their sovereign territory. The City is allowing them to access these services. And yes, if the Senecas want to put up a piece of trash, because “they can” then the city can act in its best interest and shut off their utilities.
    If the Senecas work with the city and come up with something better, they get their water. If not, the City can put them out of business. Same thing if the city wants to close down the streets surrounding the casino to block access, they could. And they should.
    The City already has the legal authority to do all of this.
    No other developer can build a casino at this time, as casinos are not legal in New York State, except if they’re on sovereign indian land. This will all change in a few years, when NYS makes casinos legal.
    Instead of accepting this piece of junk, the City should wait and cut a much better deal with a private developer, that will build something that does not detract from downtown as the Seneca’s current proposal does.
    Bottom line: the Senecas are not living up to the agreement they initially signed with the state, to build a resort style casino as a tool to create economic development. They’re current proposal is a joke that falls far short of their original commitment.

  • hamp

    Very nice. One of my favorite posts.

  • hamp

    Very nice. One of my favorite posts.

  • pampiniform

    Provided the city would actually stop this thing, which is unlikely, they’d better be ready for a tough court battle on this one. What grounds would the city actually have to stand on for doing something like that?

  • pampiniform

    Provided the city would actually stop this thing, which is unlikely, they’d better be ready for a tough court battle on this one. What grounds would the city actually have to stand on for doing something like that?

  • whatever

    pampin>”they’d better be ready for a tough court battle”
    Exactly. In the early 2000’s, the City of Buffalo’s elected officials successfully sued in court to force the Senecas to build the casino in Buffalo instead of in Cheektowaga where the Senecas preferred and were looking for a site.
    Now the same city govt would try to stop the same casino which they sued to force to be here in the first place? That sounds almost too crazy for politicians to consider.

  • whatever

    pampin>”they’d better be ready for a tough court battle”
    Exactly. In the early 2000’s, the City of Buffalo’s elected officials successfully sued in court to force the Senecas to build the casino in Buffalo instead of in Cheektowaga where the Senecas preferred and were looking for a site.
    Now the same city govt would try to stop the same casino which they sued to force to be here in the first place? That sounds almost too crazy for politicians to consider.

  • whatever

    hamp, are you so against this that truth doesn’t matter to you?
    Isn’t the following a total lie from you?
    hamp>”Bottom line: the Senecas are not living up to the agreement they initially signed with the state, to build a resort style casino as a tool to create economic development.”
    Text of the agreement between NYS and the Senecas is here
    http://www.sni.org/Files/PDF/gaming.pdf
    Where in that does it say the things you’re telling this blog’s readers it said about a resort style casino or anything like that?
    Can you paste here even one sentence at all related to such a condition?
    Why make things up?
    They were legally able to build the small metal temporary casino they’ve operated on Michigan Avenue since 2007 with only slot machines. If they want to, they could just leave that as their casino in Buffalo. It’s up the them. They also would have been legally able to build a smaller permanent casino if Buffalo’s elected officials, mayor and Common Council, hadn’t voluntarily sold Fulton Street to them in 2006.

  • brownteeth

    Sounds good! I look forward to it.

  • cyndrome

    Interesting that in Buff News today, there is article in the business section about the financial implosion of the Foxwoods Casino in Ct. So let’s go ahead and build one in Buffalo so we can all enjoy the same fate! The eventual prognosis of the casino site eventually becoming a Home Depot or large smoke shop may be on target. Or maybe a Target?

  • cyndrome

    Interesting that in Buff News today, there is article in the business section about the financial implosion of the Foxwoods Casino in Ct. So let’s go ahead and build one in Buffalo so we can all enjoy the same fate! The eventual prognosis of the casino site eventually becoming a Home Depot or large smoke shop may be on target. Or maybe a Target?

  • medea

    I find it interesting the BR was proud to announce KOHL’S which is a [deleted] clothing store! Boo-hoo,the senecas re-nogiated their treaty,,,,,

  • medea

    I find it interesting the BR was proud to announce KOHL’S which is a [deleted] clothing store! Boo-hoo,the senecas re-nogiated their treaty,,,,,

  • whatever

    The Foxwoods is the largest casino facility in the Western Hemisphere according to that article you mentioned. It’s very uspcale with four big hotels, etc.
    http://www.buffalonews.com/business/article786095.ece
    Except that they both have gambling, Foxwoods doesn’t sound similar at all to what the Seneca’s Buffalo casino will be – which is modest growth over the small temporary metal casino on Michigan Ave now which has had – sadly, for some who hoped it would fail – very good customer flow since it’s been there.
    The new one would have more slots and other types of gambling than the temp one, and a nicer indoor setting. But it won’t be anywhere near the size or risk of the Seneca’s previous plan (and even that previous plan here was much less grandiose and risky than Foxwoods).
    That said, no project is ever a guaranteed success. You mentioned Target and Home Depot. Both of those in North Buffalo are both very popular too. I’d bet a lot of residents within a few miles of the Michigan/Perry intersection would welcome either of those being there some day if it ever happened.

  • Rand503

    No, Foxwoods can’t be failing. They are casino operators, and as such, they must know their market very well. We must trust them that they know what they are doing. No bank would have lent money to them unless they had a very good business. So the article must be wrong.
    Businessmen always know what they are doing and we should trust them without asking questions.

  • Rand503

    No, Foxwoods can’t be failing. They are casino operators, and as such, they must know their market very well. We must trust them that they know what they are doing. No bank would have lent money to them unless they had a very good business. So the article must be wrong.
    Businessmen always know what they are doing and we should trust them without asking questions.

  • whatever

    lol, how unusual of you to use a straw man argument against things nobody here has said.
    Who even implied that all casino operators (or all of any type of business) will never fail at anything? Who said nobody should “ask questions” about anything?
    I do see where pampin said the Senecas have succeeded so far.
    pampin>”They make a pretty good sized little fortune out of their little blue shed as it stands right now. … The place has a pretty steady crowd in there now just for slots. I’d feel pretty good about building that place down there if I were them. …”
    That looks very different from claiming all casino operators are always immune from failure.
    My reply to cyndrome even said no venture is ever a guaranteed success. I also mentioned there’s a big difference between the literally most massive casino/hotel destination complex in the western hemisphere as Foxwoods attempted, compared to what the Senecas would try with a limited expansion of a successful small non-destination-size casino here.
    By the way, Rand – I’m curious – do you admit that the small temporary slots-only casino on Michigan Ave has done well?
    I’ll predict you’ll ignore that question.
    But won’t it be funny if anybody would say the Darwin Martin House attracting 30,000 visitors annually is a success but the small temporary casino drawing 25 times as many at 750,000 is a flop?
    http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2012/03/27/senecas-unveil-scaled-down-buffalo.html?page=all
    “…Opened in 2007, the current temporary Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino underwent two expansion projects, in 2008 and 2010. The property now attracts more than 750,000 visitors a year. By comparison, the Buffalo Sabres are expected to attract 742,000 fans to nearby First Niagara Center this regular season. …”
    Does that guarantee a larger-but-still-not-huge casino at the same location will succeed with more slots and some table games? Of course not.
    Is there a guarantee every new Wegmans store will succeed? Nope. They closed one a few years ago on Walden Ave in Cheektowaga and didn’t replace near that location. Does that mean it’s smart to expect that every new supermarket anywhere is likely to fail? Well, people are free to expect that if they want to.

  • whatever

    lol, how unusual of you to use a straw man argument against things nobody here has said.
    Who even implied that all casino operators (or all of any type of business) will never fail at anything? Who said nobody should “ask questions” about anything?
    I do see where pampin said the Senecas have succeeded so far.
    pampin>”They make a pretty good sized little fortune out of their little blue shed as it stands right now. … The place has a pretty steady crowd in there now just for slots. I’d feel pretty good about building that place down there if I were them. …”
    That looks very different from claiming all casino operators are always immune from failure.
    My reply to cyndrome even said no venture is ever a guaranteed success. I also mentioned there’s a big difference between the literally most massive casino/hotel destination complex in the western hemisphere as Foxwoods attempted, compared to what the Senecas would try with a limited expansion of a successful small non-destination-size casino here.
    By the way, Rand – I’m curious – do you admit that the small temporary slots-only casino on Michigan Ave has done well?
    I’ll predict you’ll ignore that question.
    But won’t it be funny if anybody would say the Darwin Martin House attracting 30,000 visitors annually is a success but the small temporary casino drawing 25 times as many at 750,000 is a flop?
    http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2012/03/27/senecas-unveil-scaled-down-buffalo.html?page=all
    “…Opened in 2007, the current temporary Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino underwent two expansion projects, in 2008 and 2010. The property now attracts more than 750,000 visitors a year. By comparison, the Buffalo Sabres are expected to attract 742,000 fans to nearby First Niagara Center this regular season. …”
    Does that guarantee a larger-but-still-not-huge casino at the same location will succeed with more slots and some table games? Of course not.
    Is there a guarantee every new Wegmans store will succeed? Nope. They closed one a few years ago on Walden Ave in Cheektowaga and didn’t replace near that location. Does that mean it’s smart to expect that every new supermarket anywhere is likely to fail? Well, people are free to expect that if they want to.

  • JohnMarko

    Nice strawman argument…
    First, I was born and raised in Buffalo, and I know exactly what this area is like – it’s a “no mans zone” today – and this abortion of a design only makes that more so. This concept certainly will hamper any efforts to make it a walkable area. You can’t seriously be trying to argue that this design is going to improve the area or is a “good” design?
    Yes it is a “psychological barrier”. This comment is valid in light of the conversation topic of whether this is going to be the “poster boy” of “great urban design” – it is a far cry from a “decent strip mall”.

  • JohnMarko

    Nice strawman argument…
    First, I was born and raised in Buffalo, and I know exactly what this area is like – it’s a “no mans zone” today – and this abortion of a design only makes that more so. This concept certainly will hamper any efforts to make it a walkable area. You can’t seriously be trying to argue that this design is going to improve the area or is a “good” design?
    Yes it is a “psychological barrier”. This comment is valid in light of the conversation topic of whether this is going to be the “poster boy” of “great urban design” – it is a far cry from a “decent strip mall”.

  • JohnMarko

    Since you ask:
    The Bush Depression started in 2007/2008 – while bush* was pResdident and due to his and republican policies.
    This is what Obama has inherited – and has consistently improved upon.
    Fact: Bush was the only pResident since the great Depression to LOOSE jobs on his watch – even before the 2004 election.
    Sorry, but no matter how hard you try to run away from prooven FAILED republican policies (for over 30 years now), you can’t change the facts…

  • JohnMarko

    Since you ask:
    The Bush Depression started in 2007/2008 – while bush* was pResdident and due to his and republican policies.
    This is what Obama has inherited – and has consistently improved upon.
    Fact: Bush was the only pResident since the great Depression to LOOSE jobs on his watch – even before the 2004 election.
    Sorry, but no matter how hard you try to run away from prooven FAILED republican policies (for over 30 years now), you can’t change the facts…

  • JohnMarko

    Yes – yes it is – try learning a little something about design…
    Acres and acres of parking does not make for a walkable approachable pedestrian experience. Great for cars, tho.
    That’s why all urban casinos have parking relegated to the rear or “out of site” while the main buildings are as close as can be to the sidewalks.

  • JohnMarko

    Yes – yes it is – try learning a little something about design…
    Acres and acres of parking does not make for a walkable approachable pedestrian experience. Great for cars, tho.
    That’s why all urban casinos have parking relegated to the rear or “out of site” while the main buildings are as close as can be to the sidewalks.

  • JohnMarko

    And – it’s convenient how you ignore the fact that of the growth of the debt under your hero bush*
    Inherited a massive surplus and left us with a DEPRESSION.
    Funny, you guys never once complained about the massive debt then…

  • JohnMarko

    And – it’s convenient how you ignore the fact that of the growth of the debt under your hero bush*
    Inherited a massive surplus and left us with a DEPRESSION.
    Funny, you guys never once complained about the massive debt then…

  • pampiniform

    Oh good, I’m glad you replied. I am sure you know that a strawman argument would involve me misrepresenting an argument that you made so that I could easily defeat it. I never misrepresented any argument you made. Calling you out on not living here but coming up with an argument like that is not that. What it is is an example of calling you out on coming up with a statement that sounds good like you did there, but completely ignores the facts of the matter.
    I think that what you have is a classic example of the “Buffalo expatriate syndrome.” You left here for greener pastures who knows how long ago, but you comment on things like this, as though it actually impacted your daily life, when in fact the only exposure yiou have to an issue like this is when you come back to visit. I have experienced it myself. The longer you spend away from Buffalo, the more idealized it appears in your imagination.
    Well let me tell you something, I have worked in this neighborhood. I can remember having to wait to leave until police secured the area when someone got stabbed on the corner of Perry and Lousiana not more than a couple of months ago. I know people who have been robbed walking from the clinic to their cars parked on some of the side streets. Believe when I tell you that nobody is going to walk to this place who actually is going to care if there are a couple of parking lot in the way. Perhaps you may have something relevant to add to the discussion, but if you’re going to live in a place like Las Vegas and add comments like that, then don’t be surprised if people who live in Buffalo and see the dark underbelly of life here daily call you out on it.
    I frankly don’t care one way or the other what the casino looks like. It might be nice to have one like they build out in a place like Vegas, but the First Ward of Buffalo is not the same kind of place, and what is going to be built down there is exactly what Buffalo can and will support. And that place will do well, just like the current blue shed does, mark my words.

  • pampiniform

    Oh good, I’m glad you replied. I am sure you know that a strawman argument would involve me misrepresenting an argument that you made so that I could easily defeat it. I never misrepresented any argument you made. Calling you out on not living here but coming up with an argument like that is not that. What it is is an example of calling you out on coming up with a statement that sounds good like you did there, but completely ignores the facts of the matter.
    I think that what you have is a classic example of the “Buffalo expatriate syndrome.” You left here for greener pastures who knows how long ago, but you comment on things like this, as though it actually impacted your daily life, when in fact the only exposure yiou have to an issue like this is when you come back to visit. I have experienced it myself. The longer you spend away from Buffalo, the more idealized it appears in your imagination.
    Well let me tell you something, I have worked in this neighborhood. I can remember having to wait to leave until police secured the area when someone got stabbed on the corner of Perry and Lousiana not more than a couple of months ago. I know people who have been robbed walking from the clinic to their cars parked on some of the side streets. Believe when I tell you that nobody is going to walk to this place who actually is going to care if there are a couple of parking lot in the way. Perhaps you may have something relevant to add to the discussion, but if you’re going to live in a place like Las Vegas and add comments like that, then don’t be surprised if people who live in Buffalo and see the dark underbelly of life here daily call you out on it.
    I frankly don’t care one way or the other what the casino looks like. It might be nice to have one like they build out in a place like Vegas, but the First Ward of Buffalo is not the same kind of place, and what is going to be built down there is exactly what Buffalo can and will support. And that place will do well, just like the current blue shed does, mark my words.

  • JimmyJenga

    The reason there is no hotel and restaurants is because the Seneca’s don’t want the overhead of maintaining those amenities. The plan is to allow patrons to use their player points at local hotels and restaurants. This can be good for local establishments as long as the Seneca’s pay full price and don’t force a discount. This will then be bad for all of the operators who don’t sign on. President Porter has been quoted in the Buffalo News as saying “hospitality is not our job”, he wants to focus solely on the gaming aspect.
    As bad as the design is, Porter is the most down to the earth president theyve ever had and this property is better than anything they’ve done so far (best doesnt always mean good tho).My experience working at Seneca Niagrar has been mixed, but I will say that the amount of Canadian money they bring into our area is astounding, as well as the amount of guests who are still willing to come in from PA and OH, passing by a half dozen casinos, including Seneca Allegheny.

  • sonyactivision

    Oh goody, another epic sh*tstorm casino thread.
    To sum up:
    Elitist Wendt Foundation types vs ‘Free Marketers’,
    Wasn’t “built to the curb”,
    Parking parking parking,
    Evil gambling vice,
    Poverty stricken Buffalo to lose everything,
    Everyone will still go to Niagara Falls,
    Hotel addition would ruin downtown lodging market,
    Senecas won’t give Buffalo a penny,
    Etc. etc….

  • sonyactivision

    Oh goody, another epic sh*tstorm casino thread.
    To sum up:
    Elitist Wendt Foundation types vs ‘Free Marketers’,
    Wasn’t “built to the curb”,
    Parking parking parking,
    Evil gambling vice,
    Poverty stricken Buffalo to lose everything,
    Everyone will still go to Niagara Falls,
    Hotel addition would ruin downtown lodging market,
    Senecas won’t give Buffalo a penny,
    Etc. etc….

  • whatever

    lol, seems I predicted well…
    whatever>”I’ll predict you’ll ignore that question”
    Funny how once the success of the temporary casino was pointed out, no further insistence that the new casino is likely to fail. How surprising!

  • YesSir

    I heard they just signed Trader Joe’s. This place is now going be amazing. Lets go Indians.

  • YesSir

    I heard they just signed Trader Joe’s. This place is now going be amazing. Lets go Indians.

  • elmdog

    We caught a break from the weather,” said Cathy Walker, Seneca Gaming president and chief executive officer.
    Work on the project began last year. Once the expansion is completed, the hotel portion of the Salamanca gaming and entertainment complex will have 413 rooms.
    “This will clearly help us attract more visits from people outside the region,” Walker said.
    Outside the development of Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, the new wing is the largest construction project to take place in Salamanca in several decades. More than 300 construction workers are on site, most from locally-based companies.

  • elmdog

    We caught a break from the weather,” said Cathy Walker, Seneca Gaming president and chief executive officer.
    Work on the project began last year. Once the expansion is completed, the hotel portion of the Salamanca gaming and entertainment complex will have 413 rooms.
    “This will clearly help us attract more visits from people outside the region,” Walker said.
    Outside the development of Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, the new wing is the largest construction project to take place in Salamanca in several decades. More than 300 construction workers are on site, most from locally-based companies.