BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Big plans are in the works to bring more entertainment to the waterfront at the site of the old grain elevators.
Eight acres will be transformed by a multi-million dollar project, known as Buffalo Riverworks. The historic site of the GLF grain facility will become a brewery, entertainment and recreation complex.
The first phase of the project along Ganson Street will be to create two mechanically refrigerated ice rinks. Afterwards, two warehouses will be renovated and an atrium will be built between them.
Buffalo Riverworks partner Doug Swift said, "That will create one 45,000-square foot indoor venue. It will have multiple levels, several kitchens, restaurants and it will be a multi-purpose event venue for concerts and sporting events, stage performances."
Swift says the atrium will be unique because it will hold 5,000 people.
"There are a number of acts that don't make it Buffalo because they're too big," Swift explained, saying the space will fit a middle market niche.
The grain elevator will also be reused. There will be a walkup bar with a brewery above it and one of the silos will be used to store hopes. In the future, another silo is being considered for a 100-room hotel.
"Buffalo's been struggling with ideas of how to adaptively reuse these structures. They can be really challenging. I think we found one really interesting way to do that," Swift said.
The complex is expected to open next February, which will be just in time for the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament. Last year the tournament had to be shortened due after a snow storm hit the area.
Labatt Brand Manager Lisa Texido said, "The years that we've had to amend the schedule or cancel games because of the weather has been disappointing for us, for the players, and with these refrigerated rinks we'll be able to play up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit."
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