Entertainment Complex Planned for Buffalo's Waterfront

5:59 PM, Nov 1, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY - Buffalo RiverWorks is the name of a multi-million dollar project planned for Buffalo's waterfront.

The first phase of the $15-million project will open in February. It will include two ice rinks and is located right next to General Mills on Ganson Street.

"The buildings are living history, and the buildings speak for themselves in many ways," says developer Doug Swift.

Swift is one of the driving forces behind Buffalo RiverWorks. His goal is to turn the grain elevator into a 45-thousand square foot entertainment destination including bars, restaurants, a concert venue and a micro-brewery.

"We're looking at actually using the silos as silos to store the material for the brewing operation, and then we hope to be able to get people up to the roof of that silo to enjoy a place where there will be another food and beverage service," says Swift.

Phase one includes two refrigerated ice rinks which are expected to open this winter.

Construction on everything else will continue for at least the next year.

"Are you asking for any tax breaks?" asked Channel 2's Kelly Dudzik.

"No, we're not at this point. We're kind of in the early stages of talking to economic development agencies. We may look and see whether we qualify for that and talk to them, but at the present time, we're not looking at that," says Swift.

Buffalo Common Council Member Chris Scanlon heard about the project late last week and thinks it could help attract other developers.

"What you see here is a project where they're ready to put shovels in the ground. This isn't this far-fetched idea. They're ready to go, and I think it speaks volumes about the inner working pieces here and that everyone's ready to get on the same page," says Scanlon.

Swift's goal is to have most of RiverWorks open by mid-May.

"We're just really excited about the possibilities and the potential that the site offers, and we can't wait to get started," he says.

RiverWorks will create at least two-hundred permanent jobs.

A $20-$25-million hotel is also part of the plan.

Construction on phase one will start as soon as developers get approval from the city, and they are confident that will happen.

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