2013 promises to be a busy construction season in the city. Incentives for four of the largest projects will be reviewed by Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) on Tuesday. HARBORcenter, Conventus, Houck Lofts and Distillery Lofts represent a $298,720,000 investment in Buffalo’s future.
An affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres is requesting $1.2 million in mortgage recording tax savings, $7.5 million in sales tax savings and an approximately $28 million real property tax abatement. The mixed-use 650,000 sq.ft. building is proposed for the Webster Block adjacent to First Niagara Center. A 200-room, full service hotel affiliated with the Marriott brand will be constructed at the corner of Main and Scott streets.
A two-rink hockey complex seating 2000 will be constructed on the 6th and 7th floors of the building. The rinks are expected to host the 10-team, Buffalo Sabres Elite youth hockey organization, the former Buffalo Regals hockey club the Sabres are acquiring. In addition to regular games, approximately thirty weekend tournaments are envisioned for the complex along with two large Fall Showcase events that will draw teams from outside the region. Over the summer, the complex will host the Buffalo Sabres Academy and the Center of Excellence consisting of on-ice skill development and off-ice training for 75-100 players.
The project is expected to employ 205 full-time and 160 part-time workers. Over a ten year period the facilities will generate $259 million in direct economic output and $56 million in state and local taxes. Total incentives of $38 million will yield an ROI of 148 percent according to documentation submitted to the ECIDA.
Ciminelli Development is seeking $3.5 in sales tax savings and a $740,000 mortgage tax break for its planned medical office building at Main and High streets. The six-story, 287,000 sq.ft. building will have first floor retail space, underground parking for 332 vehicles, and clinical, practical and research office space on its upper floors. Kaleida Health and UBMD Physician’s Group are leasing 85,000 sq.ft. and 60,000 sq.ft. respectively to anchor the building. The completed project is expected to pay $1,013,000 in annual taxes to the City.
Rocco Termini’s Signature Development is seeking $72,000 in mortgage tax and $612,000 in sales tax savings to convert the former FWS Furniture Company building at 1738 Elmwood Avenue into a mixed-use complex. The 100,000 sq.ft. building will house 46 market rate apartments, a 7,000 sq.ft. call center, 5,000 sq.ft. of tech space, 10,000 sq.ft. of office space and a 10,000 sq.ft. restaurant/distillery. Termini says he has tenants interested in the commercial space planned for the building.
Signature Development is also applying for $45,000 in mortgage tax savings and $184,000 in sales tax savings for its Houk Lofts project on Grote Street. The former Houk Wire Wheel Company facility will be converted into twenty 1-bedroom and three 2-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $900 to $1,250/month. It is anticipated that a high-end hair salon and tattoo studio will occupy the 3,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in the building.