QCLA was happy to learn that the Sabres/Pegula proposal for the Webster block in the prime Canalside district was the winning proposal.
The two main bids, between Carl Paladino's hotel/apartments/retail/ gigantic parking garage and the Terry Pegula 2 ice rinks/retail/restaurant/slightly less obtrusive parking garage was something that QCLA was watching very closely.
Although Paladino has many nice properties around the area, I couldn't help but coming back to the long stalled court street project, and the coffee rich building (which thankfully a judge just ordered to be cleaned up and new windows installed.) I just felt we couldn't have someone with such a spotty track record as the key developer on the most sought after parcel of land in Canalside. This had nothing to do ith Carl on a personal level, just a professional level.
Plus, having someone from outside the area willing to invest over $100 million in dowtown is the type of opportunity you don't let slip away. It will be a draw for junior, college and other tournements which run year round, and also supply more hotel rooms (along with the 1 canalside donovan restoration) for out of towners to stay by the arena. This will positively impact not only the retail businesses that go into the building, but the walkable coblestone district, pearl street, and hopefully, the newer areas of main street being redeveloped (with the metro line running up main and back down to the 1 canalside address.
To add to this, they will be putting shovels in the ground in february, and have the ice rinks and parking ready in about a year, with the hotel shortly to follow, this kind of compressed schedule has been unusual for Buffalo in the past, and the positive momentum of this, the Donovan, the Childrens Play museum, the Statler Towers, the lafayette hotel, The redone Erie Canals, The Liberty Hound (deep breath) the new skating on canals, an expanded Dougs Dive, the Outer Harbor, The Outer Pier, and whew! (Not to mention the medical campus, the vetrinary college, and all the main street stuff!....) Buffalo is seriously rockin and rolling like it's the 1920's again.
Lets go Buffalo!