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The City of Buffalo and Seneca Gaming Corp. have come to an agreement that could see Fulton Street sold to the Seneca Nation. In early August, negotiations broke down over conditions the City wanted included in the sale agreement such as the number of local residents to be hired at the casino and funding to be allocated toward marketing the facility and region. Both sides have apparently settled their issues, and with a few tweaks to the earlier rejected agreement, hope to have the City Council sign-off on the sale of Fulton Street.
The Seneca Nation has coveted Fulton Street since it divides their nine-acre site fronting Michigan Street on the eastern edge of the Cobblestone District. The Senecais preferred casino design from Sosh Architects was unveiled earlier this year counted on the removal of the public right-of-way. A three-story casino has been proposed with entry pavilion, extensive landscaping, a pre-cast five-level parking garage with decorative rooftop sails and an eight-story headquarters building for Seneca Gaming. A potential 17-story, 250 room hotel could be added at a later date. If title to the roadway is not obtained, an alternative, scaled-down plan has been floated featuring a pedestrian bridge over Fulton connecting the parking ramp to the casino. If an easement couldnit be obtained for the pedestrian bridge, the Senecais threatened, errr, promised a ebig boxi casino with surface parking lot.
It isnit clear sailing for the project just yet. The Buffalo Common Council must sign-off on any proposed sale agreement, and a court case filed by Citizens for a Better Buffalo and Erie County aimed at preventing the construction of the casino is still pending.
Image: Seneca Gaming's preferred casino design.