The City of Buffalo on Friday officially transferred ownership of the Webster Block to the Buffalo Sabres, which will put $2.2 million in the city’s general fund.
Cliff Benson, Sabres’ chief development officer, assured Mayor Byron W. Brown that the check would clear, saying, “We have good financial backing.”
Brown and Benson attended a signing ceremony in the lobby of First Niagara Center, across Perry Street from the Webster Block, a 2-acre parcel where the Sabres are building a hockey destination expected to draw 550,000 annual visitors.
HarborCenter, a $172.2 million complex that includes two ice rinks, a 200-room hotel and 845-space parking garage, is currently under construction, though a ceremonial groundbreaking is planned for April. The rinks’ opening is scheduled for September 2014, with the hotel slated to open in spring 2015.
The project also includes a 12,000-square-foot sports bar at Washington and Scott streets and 8,000 square feet of retail space along Main Street.
A proposal to develop the block from the Sabres and owner Terry Pegula was selected by Brown in August following a competitive bid process.