Heavy construction equipment has rolled onto the Webster Block in front of the First Niagara Center, where construction crews are set to begin work on Terry Pegula's $175 million multipurpose facility, HARBORcenter. Fences line the parcel while a portion of Lower Main Street has been closed off to accommodate the massive project.
Sabres Director of Communications Mike Gilbert told WKBW: "We got all of the approvals last week and we hit the ground running. By April you will see cranes in the air here. I think people that don't come down here on a regular basis, when they do and they see it they're going to say wow."
HARBORcenter will include 800 parking spaces topped by two enclosed hockey rinks, retail space, and a 200-room hotel. The ice rinks and parking ramp are both expected to open in September 2014 with the hotel following in spring 2015.
In addition to the HARBORcenter, construction can be seen in several directions as crews continue work at One Canalside, the Aud Block canals, and most recently, the East Canal park which will also begin taking shape this month, located between One Canalside and HARBORcenter developments.
And, just down the street, Ellicott Development Corp. has plans for another major development fronting the entrance to the Erie Basin Marina. Ellicott's proposal for "The Carlo" took a step forward last week when the company was given designated-developer status for the City-owned land needed for the $75 million project.