BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's a deal that would have pumped $10 million intoneighborhoods across Buffalo, but late Wednesday afternoon, theCommon Council did not pass a land transfer deal, fueling fearsthat HSBC Bank will move thousands of jobs elsewhere.
Buffalo lawmakers are now considering only selling the Websterblock, but they don't have enough votes to do that yet. Theydisappointed Mayor Byron Brown on Wednesday.
Mayor Brown said, "We can't play games with this decision makingprocess."
Mayor Brown told Buffalo lawmakers HSBC Bank needs an answerthis week whether city land will be available to them for possiblenew office space and parking.
"There are times when the importance of a particular issueswarrants action. And this is absolutely one of those instances,"insisted Mayor Brown.
A majority of Buffalo lawmakers believe HSBC is only interestedin the Webster block, 1.9 acres of land near HSBC Arena. They votedto prepare documents to transfer only this land.
Common Council President David Franczyk said, "I believe it will[satisfy the needs of HSBC]. My discussions with HSBC officials,I'm comfortable with that it what they will accept."
Councilmember Michael Kearns said, "It was conveyed to us todaywas HSBC is not sending any official deadline."
The mayor said seven acres must be transferred to make the wholedeal work, and said lawmakers were putting the city injeopardy.
"Five members of this city council voted to kill jobs in Buffalotoday," contended Mayor Brown.
On Tuesday, Larry Quinn of the Erie Canal Harbor DevelopmentCorporation leaned heavily on Buffalo lawmakers, saying, "Peoplewant to hijack the economic development of Buffalo for theirpersonal political gain."
"It was heavy sell, hard sell, arm twisting, putting a gun toyour head, that's unacceptable. They failed with Bass Pro and nowthey're trying to blame everybody in the world for their failures,"said Franczyk.
The mayor says he may call lawmakers back this week for anothervote. Franczyk says that may not happen.
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