Upward of 10,000 square feet of space expected to be available this year
HARBORCENTER President John R. Koelmel today unveiled the project's retail plan, which will create upward of 10,000 square feet of new space by the end of the calendar year, and as much as 20,000 square feet of additional retail opportunity in the adjacent First Niagara Center over the next several years.
"To create a premier destination for downtown Buffalo and the Canalside district, we realize that a retail component is an important element of the HARBORCENTER experience," Koelmel said. "This plan enables both new and established retailers to join us in providing a high-quality array of services for all of our visitors to enjoy."
The preliminary design contemplates a "Mercantile Exchange" concept, with multiple vendors and stores providing a variety of products and amenities to HARBORCENTER guests and visitors. In the first phase of the plan, as much as 10,000 square feet will be available facing Main Street on the southwest side of the project. While design plans have yet to be finalized, that assumes the footprint immediately available is expanded to include a mezzanine level.
Future phases of the plan involve additional storefronts moving further south on Main Street, along the west side of First Niagara Center, extending the retail presence to the southern edge of Canalside. That would include spaces that currently house HARBORCENTER and Mortenson Construction offices. In total, the project would add close to 30,000 square feet of retail along the Main Street corridor, overlooking Lake Erie, the Niagara River and the Buffalo River.
"While the amount of space that we will have available is limited, we want to ensure that we create a solid retail foundation for Canalside," Koelmel added. "We are committed to creating a multi-faceted, first-class experience for all of our guests and visitors. We have already had tremendous interest from a wide variety of vendors who want to be part of HARBORCENTER and the district. They realize this is a unique opportunity to be part of a must-see destination in downtown Buffalo."
The 650,000 square foot HARBORCENTER will open in late October with two NHL-size rinks, a high-performance training facility operated by IMPACT Sports Performance, the Academy of Hockey, (716) Food and Sport restaurant, Tim Hortons Café and Bakeshop, and a 750-space parking ramp. A 205-room, full-service Marriott Hotel will open on the property in the spring of 2015.