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From: "Christopher Thurner" cthurner AT adelphia DOT net
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 15:00:40 -0400
Subject: News for former DL&W passenger terminal in Buffalo!
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Today's (9/7), Buffalo News has a story about the interest from Seneca
Gaming Corp. into converting the former DL&W passenger terminal into a
casino in downtown Buffalo. Apparently it is on a short list of three sites
under consideration in Buffalo.
I've included the story and also the link to the Buffalo News site in case
the story gets 'stripped' by the list server due to a photo being included
Old riverfront terminal reportedly tops Senecas' list of 3 downtown sites
By SHARON LINSTEDT
News Staff Reporter
The former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad terminal, on the
waterfront behind HSBC Arena, has been mostly idle since the early 1960s.
A downtown rail terminal and adjoining city-owned parking lot has emerged as
the leading site for the Seneca Nation of Indians' Buffalo casino.
Sources with knowledge of the Senecas' undisclosed "short list" of three
potential city casino locations said Tuesday the former Delaware, Lackawanna
and Western Railroad terminal, located at the foot of Main Street directly
behind the HSBC Arena, is the leading candidate.
Built in 1917 as part of the DL&W rail and ship terminal complex, the nearly
block-long, two-story structure is currently owned by the Niagara Frontier
Transportation Authority, which uses the ground floor to house and service
its Metro Rail cars.
Neither Seneca nor NFTA representatives would comment on the rumored casino
site on Tuesday. However, a Seneca source confirmed a contingent from the
nation, which included officials of Seneca Gaming Corp. and the nation's
Economic Development Committee, were given an extensive tour of the building
in late August.
Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. said Sept. 1 he hopes to announce
the Buffalo location by the end of the month. Snyder and Rajat Shah, a
Seneca Gaming executive, confirmed the nation is focusing on three downtown
sites for a 120,000-square-foot casino that would open by late 2007.
The vacant upper floor of the rail building - an enclosed space that's
approximately the size of a football field and overlooks the Buffalo River -
has long been viewed as the perfect location for the right development
project. While it has sat largely idle since the early 1960s, it has been
proposed as the site for everything from a shopping mall to museum space to
an office complex, but none of the ventures progressed beyond the design
The building's heavy-duty construction and open-floor plan are seen as
making it well suited as a gaming venue. The sturdy construction, which
includes foundation piers extending about 80 feet below the building, opens
the door to adding several upper floors to the existing structure.
Another plus is its location - right in the heart of the emerging Erie Canal
Harbor Entertainment District. It would offer easy access to HSBC Arena, the
planned Bass Pro Shops store in Memorial Auditorium and an adjacent Great
Lakes-Erie Canal museum, as well as the downtown waterfront and Naval &
Servicemen's Park, which are both undergoing an ambitious reconstruction.
The Senecas also are said to be eyeing the so-called Cobblestone parking
lot, situated less than 50 yards from the south end of the DL&W terminal,
bounded by South Park Avenue and Perry, Mississippi and Columbia streets.
The 900-vehicle lot would have enough space for large-scale parking decks
that could be directly connected to the gaming hall.
The city-owned surface parking lot, which is used for Buffalo Sabres games
and other HSBC Arena events, has been discussed as a future development
site. In the late 1990s, the city promoted the idea of locating a $25
million amateur hockey complex on the site. At that time, planners already
had envisioned construction of ramps to replace surface slots for rink and
The Cobblestone district and the adjoining "Ohio Basin" neighborhood also
have the potential to provide sites for the Senecas or private developers to
create nearby housing for casino workers.
This is not the first Erie Canal Harbor/Cobblestone neighborhood site the
Senecas have sized up. The nation is said to have made inquiries to HSBC
Bank earlier this summer about its Atrium Building property on Washington