BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The finger pointing has already begun over the loss of Bass Pro.And now further delay of a waterfront land deal could cost Buffaloa thousand other jobs.
In withdrawing from further consideration, a Bass Pro spokesmanwrote, "There are numerous critical reasons, including the factthat several major issues remain unresolved."
Eluding to recent lawsuits, and the fact the Common Council hadnot yet transferred some city land to the Harbor DevelopmentCorporation. Mayor Byron Brown is disappointed, saying, "This isinexcusable and an example of a few obstructionists persuadingmembers of the Common Council to stop progress."
Common Council Majority Leader Richard Fontana said, "Toactually blame the Common Council for a week or month delay on thisissue that's before us today is absurd. Once the economy turneddown, I think Bass Pro really put it on the back burner. At thispoint, we're concerned though with another major tenant, which isHSBC."
Within hours of the Bass Pro news, Council Majority Leader RichFontana says business leaders were calling him, asking with asudden urgency to call a special meeting next week to turn over thecity's seven acres in front HSBC Arena to the Harbor DevelopmentCorporation because HSBC Bank needs it to keep jobs here.
The bottom line is HSBC wants out of the huge HSBC tower. Infact, they've put out Requests for Proposals to downtown propertyowners that they're looking for a new spot. If they could get thisparking lot, known as the Webster block, it would put them rightacross the street from their HSBC Atrium.
"So that's a concern to me as a businessman here in Buffalo. Ineed to keep HSBC in downtown Buffalo and do everything we can do.Now, if that's not the case, HSBC needs to come forward and tell methat's not the case, otherwise I'm not gonna push for the vote,"said Fontana.
An HSBC spokesman tells News 4 the bank is "looking at a rangeof options" and is "reviewing future real estate as part ofstandard practice."
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