Seneca President Barry E. Snyder Sr. and Mayor Byron W. Brown announced yesterday that they have reached and agreement on the sale of a two block section of Fulton Street in the Cobblestone District to the Seneca Nation of Indians. This two-block section “runs through the middle of the nine-acre Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino site”.
Brown said in August he would not sell the roadway to the western New York tribe because the Senecas would not go along with the city’s hiring and marketing demands. Without the road, the Senecas said they would build a much smaller and less spectacular facility than the $125 million complex they envisioned.
“I can state with confidence this agreement is good for the city of Buffalo,” Brown said.
Snyder said the agreement will allow the Senecas to resume plans to build a “signature facility” that through revenue sharing will bring Buffalo an estimated $5 million to $7 million a year.
(Video of news report available at above link.)
While neither the city nor the Senecas would provide a copy of the reworked pact, the mayor described the Seneca promises to the city as “stronger” and “more solidified,” but admitted they are not binding.
The agreement, which requires approval by the Seneca Tribal Council and the Common Council, includes the following key elements:
*Seneca Gaming Corp. will pay the city $631,000 for Fulton Street.
*It will create about 1,000 permanent jobs, with 50 percent of the jobs to be filled by city residents. At least 25 percent of hires will be minorities, and 8 percent women.
*The Senecas will invest between $5 million and $7 million on infrastructure improvements in the Cobblestone neighborhood to support the casino operations.
*The gaming corporation will spend more than $1.7 million annually to market the facility and the city to outside the region, and the state.
As in the case of the Seneca Allegany Casino, the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino will start as a smaller, temporary site this spring and is expected to grow within two years to a larger facility.