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Brown provides update on Webster Block

WBFO News photo

A decision is close on who will develop the Webster Block downtown.

"The developers have provided more and more information," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said as he offered a status update to WBFO and AM970 News.

Many area residents and hockey fans know the Webster Block but not by that name. It's the two-acre parking lot across the street from First Niagara Center and across Main Street from Canalside.

The block is now the subject of a bidding war between Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and developer Carl Paladino. Pegula is proposing a $120 million complex for the site built around two hockey rinks; Paladino is proposing a $60 million hotel, retail and apartment complex.

The mayor had set yesterday as the deadline but now says it will be decided by the time the Council returns from the summer break September 4.

Mayor Brown says it's a sign downtown is a place to do business.

"To have two very strong companies competing aggressively for a prime parcel of land in downtown Buffalo near the Waterfront is a major major boost to the psyche of the city of Buffalo. It really says to the business community that Buffalo is a good place to invest."

On another side of the Webster Block is the old Donovan State Office Building, now being converted into a hotel and office complex.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.