Construction Halts

28 Aug

The Senecas have halted construction on the Buffalo Creek Casino structure. The $300 million project is already well underway and the permanent structure was slated to open in 2010.

The Seneca Gaming Commission cites the slagging economy for leading to this decision, but some point to uncertainty with respect to the lawsuit that has been filed by certain citizens and groups seeking to shut the casino operation down altogether in Buffalo.

My only question is this. Will the casino remain on Mayor Brown’s master list of Buffalo projects that he trots out to rebut any and all negative press about the city?

I know personally that the addition of a Tim Horton’s to a B-Kwik on Seneca Street is what single-handedly convinces prospective developers that Buffalo is on the rise!

26 Responses to “Construction Halts”

  1. al-alo August 28, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    i wish we had H-O Oats back.

  2. DJohn August 28, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Excellent news! I guess the Seneca’s have lost their bet.

  3. Bill Altreuter August 28, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    There’s no reason the property couldn’t work as a convention hotel without a casino. Buffalo does not have a first-class hotel at present, and we lose a fair sized chunk of convention and meeting business as a result. The Seneca would have a very difficult time selling the property (it is “Indian Land”, which means there are restrictions on alienation– even if it is not appropriate for Class III gambling) so they probably should try to develop it. They could run a shuttle to Niagara Falls if they reckon that gambling is that important.

    If the Seneca are serious about working in partnership with Buffalo, building a five star property makes a great deal of sense. In theory Wyndham is going to come in on the Statler project, but this town could certainly support two first class hotels downtown. Chris Collins should be instructing the CVB to meet with the Seneca right now to talk about how to do this.

  4. Brian August 28, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    If I were Barry Snyder, I would open up a can of whoop-ass on Joel Rose.

  5. sally August 28, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    The lawsuit is not the reason construction has stopped is was the inability to obtain financing at a reasonable rate. The Pinnacle Casino development on the AC boardwalk as well as a Pittsbugh Casino also actively under construction were both halted for the same reason, as was a $4.5 billion casino project in Las Vegas. The financing issue is also why the Seneca’s have not announced future plans for the NF site. Plans which were originally going to be unveiled in February including a 55 story hotel. To put it in simple terms the suspension is the result of the national mortgage crisis and tighened lending markets.

    Also if it were lawsuit related it would not have affected the Salamanca project which is clearly legal under anyone’s interpretation.

  6. Confused August 28, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    Does this mean that the Senecas can continue operating the casino from the existing “building” – forever?

  7. sally August 28, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    yes, but once the lending markets loosen up they will compete their projects. Look for construction to resume in the Spring – sooner if steel prices drop at the end of this year as expected.

  8. Senecalady August 28, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Everyone seems to be eager to spend the Seneca’s money on things that they seem fit for their city and their people.
    Let’s do this, let’s do that. Ok then, Let’s do everything YOU want to do.
    Now you will never know what could’ve been and you all can continue to live the way you always have and still keep complaining about what a crumby city Buffalo is.

  9. mike August 28, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Another to add to the list with Bass Pro, OZ, Mega-mall, at least they got further along then Hudson’s pal the NFR, all they did was pour a cement pad.

  10. WNYMind August 28, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    I am so glad H-O Oatswas torn down. If nothing else comes of the Casino, we got rid of that eyesore. I hope the Martin House is torn down too, along with all of the art museums the Wendt Foundation pours money into at the expense of the poor. I hope the zoo closes and the animals are released in to streets to roam wild and free. I hope the homeless squat in Deleware park.

    This is class warfare. 100% of public money for the poor. It is time to cut off the rich and the Wendt Foundation. No more free lunch!!!

  11. Jon Splett August 28, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    “There’s no reason the property couldn’t work as a convention hotel without a casino. ”

    Except no one ever comes to Buffalo because there’s nothing here.

    Why should the Senecas build a 5-star hotel in a city that lacks any real tourism because there aren’t any real attractions.

  12. mike hudson August 28, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    once again the “progressives” have triumphed and once again the cost has been thousands of jobs in a city that desperately needs them.

    congratulations bruce jackson, joel rose and other government teat-suckers for making it all impossible!

  13. mike August 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    sure hudson, we sure need a few more waitress making sub mininal wage jobs and look at all the depends sales Tops will lose now too.

  14. mike hudson August 28, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    the average wage for 2,000 or so hourly workers at the seneca-niagara casino in the falls is $30k annually. pay for the building trades union members building the thing would be substantially more than that.

    we live in a community where going through the garbage for redeemable bottles and cans is a viable career option and more than 50 percent of the residents are on some sort of government assistance.

    yeah mike, you’re right. who needs the jobs?

  15. mike August 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    Your key word is average, one or two fat cats make 6 figures and the rest make 13,000 thats average. Might as well work at the walmart or micky D’s yes who needs shit jobs is right. The are the social costs of these “jobs”? And I am not talking about lenny’s blackjack game going out of business either.

  16. sally August 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    An official with the Painter’s Union was on the radio about an hour ago. He said they were told by the Seneca’s that the construction would be restarted next Spring at the latest and possibly as soon as January on both projects, i.e. Buffalo and Salamanca.

  17. Welcome to buFfaWoh! August 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    Where are the casinos in NYC? Boston? Chicago? Providence? Portland ME? Burlington VT? Portland OR? Austin, TX? I could go on and on…

    You people are so desperate for any type of development – any sense of progress – it’s sad. A casino is a sign of desperation; not hope. Look at Detroit – even the people that live there admit the casinos have made the city worse – not better.

    But here in Buffalo – casinos are welcome because any development is better than no development. Here in Buffalo we go after a community foundation and individual leaders because they have to help police the area since our politicians want to ignore the fact that the casino is illegal. Yes, it’s the Wednt Foundation and Joel Roses’ fault that the Seneca’s and the State broke the law. Here in Buffalo we blog about our opinions of support but don’t get off your asses to actually go and rally for a casino.

    You people are fcukd up.

    A casino is nothing more than a false sense of security. It gives people like Pundit and company something to point to and say “see – we’re not a dying city.” Same with Rt. 5/skyway “enhancements” – it’s the “just build it mentality” that put UB in Amherst and Rich Stadium in Orchard Park.

    You’ll never win with this defeatist attitude. Go ahead and keep electing the same freaks – NY State is like a database – you put shit in – you get shit out.

    Have fun Buffalo.

  18. mike hudson August 28, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    mike, you’re a real asshole. plus you don’ty have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. i said “average hourly.” fat cats don’t get paid by the hour, even in senecaland.

    that’s an hourly payroll of $60 million annually. and people use that money to buy houses, cars, washing machines, food, clothing and all the other things that other working people — in the retail indistry — sell. in your twisted worldview, the niagara frontier neither needs nor wants that $60 million.

    i’ll take you over to the laborers hall on seneca ave. and you can tell them how they don’t need the work.

  19. Bill Altreuter August 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    I wonder what the half life is for civility on the comments threads here. It seems to me that once we’re up to about a half-dozen the conversation degrades pretty quickly into name-calling and worse. It would also be nice if there was some attempt made at pointing to verifiable facts.

    As far as I’m concerned the Seneca can grow corn on the land, but I don’t think that’s the best solution. They own a piece of property that they can’t sell, next to a housing project. The legal arguments that bar Class III gambling there are pretty strong– I’ve read the briefs, I’ve read the statutes and the decisional law, and I think they have a real problem. As it happens they could meet a need by building a convention hotel, and I think that would be a win for everyone. At this point some creative problem solving is called for, and I’d be interested in hearing other suggestions. Barry Snyder ought to be too.

  20. lefty August 28, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    Bill,

    I am a little confused by your comments. From what I have gathered, the anti-casino forces have two main reasons for not wanting a casino. Number one is the tax free aspect of the operation that would hurt local businesses. The second is the potential damage to the community that having a gambling facility located in a poor city. Both of these arguments are held up by the opinion that gambling on the site is illegal.

    Now maybe I am wrong but wouldn’t a convention center complex have the same tax free status as a convention center complex with a casino. If this is the case, the perceived damage of issue one would still take place.

    If the Seneca nation did decide to do just a convention center, they would have not only the room for multiple convention spaces but additional room for bar, restaurants and retail.

    One could also counter that it would be worse as just a convention center site. The reasoning is that if the site did not have a casino and just a convention center, the site would take even more hotel business and their bed tax dollars away from the existing hotels downtown that service the current convention center.

    I think they will complete the casino but if for some reason they do not, I feel they will simply establish bus service from the downtown location to the location in the falls every 30 minutes if people want more than the slots that are still up and running.

  21. mike August 28, 2008 at 7:05 pm #

    Hudson sticking up for the bathroom bitch slapping labor’s union? Wow butchie must be rolling over in his grave. Hudson gambling is not an industry its a sickness and show me where all its opened one spin off, except your full page paretto parking lot. Using your logic lets make it legal to smoke crack too, look at all the taxes and people it would employ.

  22. rastamick61 August 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    Bill A how long do you think that project will be there if the money starts rolling in ? New Orleans used to have a buncha housing projects and low income housing too but thanks to Katrina and developers with help from the very big government the repubes are always crying about, those low income housing units are all bye bye and developers will be cashing in on the land and location that was being wasted on annoying poor people. Not that I’m crying in my beer over the handful of Senecas who cash in here either but it’s all a game being played well beyond the blackjack table.

  23. shopitall August 28, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    just curious……so what exactly happens to the “street” that our Mayor gave away for campaign contributions….errr……SOLD for a pittance to the Senecas? Must they sell/give it back to the city? Was the sale contingent on the building of the Casino?

    Just wondering……

  24. Bill Altreuter August 29, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    Lefty,

    You are correct that a convention hotel– or a corn field– would be tax free, and at least arguably retail on the hotel site would be as well. The goal of a project like that would be to keep as many guest dollars on-site as possible. That said, a convention hotel typically draws visitors from out of town, in contrast to the proposed casino, which is intended to be a local attraction. Out-of-town visitors are likely to make excursions off-site, particularly if the property is situated, as this one is, in or near a downtown area. The sports arena, and the waterfront would draw guests off the property. The surrounding area, which is blighted now, would be more attractive for development. That just doesn’t happen with casinos anywhere. Take a look at the area around the Niagara Falls casino. Take a look at Atlantic City. Take a look at Detroit. The areas around casinos do not flourish. Now consider the areas around convention centers. As a rule the blocks around urban convention centers are full of retail and restaurants. Something would have to happen with the Perry Street projects, but the presence of meaningful commercial activity in the neighborhood would make that a economic and political possibility. That’s not something that anybody is going to take on if there is a big casino there.

  25. hank August 30, 2008 at 3:39 am #

    Actually, a first class Convention center with alcohol on premises, with the Serviceman’s park in the vicinity could make Buffalo a Mecca for Navy Reunions. SOME are held in Buffalo now, because the Diesel Boat Veterans like to be near the Croaker. When it was in New London it was the ONLY place the Diesel boat bubbleheads would go.

    But after a few trips to the fucking Adam’s Mark–Small rooms, shitty A/C and high prices—these groups don’t come back. The Falls 25 miles away would help the draw.

    If any of you read the Legion, Semper Fi, DAV and VFW magazines, Fleet Reserve News–and looked at the reunions planned every year, If Buffalo had a first class convention center hotel near the ships downtown, you could have the bastard 3/4 booked every damn week of the year.

    These veterans need a place to get all the money the government “gives” them, according to Real Asshole Mike. And why not Buffalo for them to spend it in?

  26. Senecalady September 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    It is funny to see the ideas the non-natives have in how the Seneca’s should spend their money. Why the hell would we want to put up a convention center? Does that really bring in enough money to make the whole Seneca Nation self-sufficient? Doesn’t seem like it.
    Maybe a gas station and smoke shop could bring in the dough. Then again “It isn’t fair to all the other local businesses”.
    To hell with Buffalo. How about buying your land back for $1?

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