BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Terry and Kim Pegula have bought yet another building in the city’s Cobblestone District, leading many observers to wonder if the Pegulas are building up their real estate portfolio in anticipation of a new downtown football stadium.
The Pegulas, owners of the Buffalo Bills pro football team, and the Buffalo Sabres hockey franchise, have purchased the Carr Building, at Michigan Avenue and Perry Street. That acquisition is heating up speculation about the Pegulas’ plans for downtown.
The Carr Building is across Michigan Avenue from the Buffalo Creek Casino—a magnet for downtown entertainment. The Pegulas have already spent millions on the HarborCenter, and last year they bought the Hi-Temp Fabrication Building, across Illinois Street from the KeyBank Center.
Common Coucilmember David Franczyk’s Fillmore District encompasses all of the Pegulas’ downtown property, and he is feeling optimistic about the power couple’s commitment, “You are seeing a permanency with the Pegulas, that this is really their place to grow and build and protect their teams. So I think it is an encouraging sign.”
But the proximity of those properties to the Commodore Perry Homes, land that is in the cross hairs of new football stadium talk, can’t be brushed aside. While Franczyk is on the record favoring a new stadium in the city, he would not support the removal of Perry’s tenants.
“Some people have lived there for 40 years, that is their home. Just because they might be of slightly less income does not mean that is not where their heart is, and that is where their neighborhood is.”
The Pegulas have been saying very little about a new football stadium, but the predominant scenario would see the Cobblestone District built up–with the arena, HarborCenter, the casino, Canalside and Labatt USA.
The expanded entertainment district would be capitalize on the construction of a new Bills football stadium, just a few blocks away, or possibly a new convention center.