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Pegula acquisition of Perry Street building has some asking: what next?

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

With the addition of a building to the Pegula Sports and Entertainment footprint, and a plan for how to use it just announced, some were raising questions Wednesday as to what else the company might have in mind in downtown Buffalo.

The building sitting on the corner of Perry and Illinois, in Buffalo's Cobblestone District, is now owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment. On Wednesday, it was announced that Labatt USA would be its anchor tenant and build a pilot brewery and restaurant on the ground level. The brewer, which moved its U.S. corporate office to Buffalo ten years ago, plans to relocate those operations into 79 Perry as well.

But plans for the rest of the building, PSE officials admitted, are still up in the air. 

"It's all open," said Kim Pegula. "We've just been working on the Labatt partnership and getting that solidified. Now that there's a lot of other things going on, we could certainly have those other options."

Commercial and residential uses are under consideration.

Bruce Popko, PSE's chief operating officer, stated that the company found the building "strategically important." It is located just one block from KeyBank Center, where the Pegula-owned  Buffalo Sabres play, and a short walk from the rinks, hotel rooms and shops inside the Pegula-built HarborCenter.

Might there be other opportunities to expand the footprint within that part of Buffalo? Popko was asked that question.

"I would say that we're in constant contact, with the private sector and the public sector, to explore any of those opportunities," he replied.

PSE's current corporate offices are within the Fairmont Creamery building on Scott Street. Mrs. Pegula said her company is under a lease and will remain there "for the near future."

Some have speculated that the Pegulas are eyeing space in the neighborhood for a future football stadium. But the Bills owners, who are committed to a lease at New Era Field in Orchard Park, have said they are in no hurry to relocate from that campus.


Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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