Work at HARBORcenter moving quickly

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – HARBORcenter in downtown Buffalo is quickly taking shape. Construction crews are hard at work putting together the skeleton of Terry Pegula’s $130 million project.

Kendell Nielsen is one of the project coordinators and says workers have logged nearly 60,000 hours since the start of construction, last spring.

“We’ve come out of the ground as quick as you can imagine,” he said. “We’ve got about 110 people on site. We’re working Saturdays and we’re working between 10- and 12-hour days.”

Chief Development Officer Cliff Benson is working hard to make sure workers stay on track and finish the project on time.

“They’re doing great out here. You can see it everyday,” Benson said. “The key is to get the rinks, the ramp and the restaurant done by this time next year.”

From the third floor of the what-will be a 20-story building, it’s clear there is still a lot more work to be done.

But HARBORcenter President John Koelmel says, “Other than the hotel, the experience we’re going to begin to provide will be tangible and visible.”

The hotel will be finished by 2015. For now, Koelmel is excited to welcome Buffalo Sabres fans back to First Niagara Center on Friday, when they’ll be able to see the progress at the site as they make their way into the arena.

“We want people to appreciate it’s much more than a sexy, sizzly construction project, that this is the beginning and foundation for what will be an incredible outcome,” Koelmel said.

The majority of the construction crew working on this project are from WNY, as per an agreement with the city. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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