“We have just completed Phase II of the county’s Convention Center study, which assessed potential sites for a new Convention Center in Buffalo and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of each. On this webpage you’ll find a complete copy of the study with all attached documents and images. The experts who prepared the study identified a site on Delaware Avenue directly across from the historic Statler Hotel on West Mohawk Street as the preferred site for a new Convention Center, and in the study you’ll find the many reasons behind their conclusion as well as the reasons why other sites fell short. Simply put, the Delaware Avenue site gives our community the most value for the lowest investment.
This is an exciting, transformative project and an exciting time for Buffalo and Erie County. Opportunities such as this happen once in a lifetime. We hope you will take some time to read the study and its findings, then add your comments to our public comment section, which will be held open for thirty days. Community input is important and helps to shape decisions, and I thank you in advance for your thoughts.“ - Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz
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Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Architectural and Engineering Assessment
Public comments on the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Architectural and Engineering Assessment will be accepted until March 14, 2020 in the Comment form below.
The selection of a site for new or expanded convention center is a complex decision. Several factors influence the ability of a Convention Center to attract local, regional, and national conference activity, maximize economic development potential, and drive investment within an urban environment. Identifying the right site to begin with is critical.
In 2018, Erie County commissioned a Market and Feasibility Study to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the existing Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (BNCC) and evaluate the Buffalo-Niagara market and Peer City competitors to determine the optimal size Convention Center given the size of the market. This study, produced by HVS, noted the deficiencies of the existing BNCC and determined that the market exists for Buffalo to support a larger convention center that would increase the economic benefit to the local economy and increase the number of jobs attributable to the Center.
HVS also evaluated what Peer Cities offer with respect to Convention Center functional space (exhibit hall, ballroom, and meeting space). They evaluated cities that are considered regional competitors to Buffalo (ie, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Hartford, etc.) as well as in-state competitors (ie, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany).
The HVS Study recommended a 120,000 – 150,000 sf Exhibit Hall, a 30,000 – 40,000 sf multipurpose Ballroom, and 30,000 – 45,000 sf of meeting rooms. The HVS Study identified two potential sites, referred to as the Delaware Site and the HSBC Site.
In 2019, Erie County hired TVS Design to conduct a more thorough Architectural and Engineering Assessment Report to provide a detailed comparison of the Delaware and HSBC Sites, as well as a third option to study incorporation of the existing BNCC with the adjacent Statler Building. The TVS Study included an architectural exercise to test fit the recommended Program spaces within each site.
Site Layouts of the Statler, Delaware and HSBC Sites
The assessment reviewed the architectural and engineering feasibility of the Statler, Delaware and HSBC sites to assess the constructability, cost and overall feasibility of each alternative.
Each scheme was evaluated through quantitative and qualitative measures from information readily available and/or as provided by Erie County. The Qualitative review generally focused on practical operational access and serviceability with experiential urban design impacts and relationships to cultural/commercial centers. The quantitative review focused on building size (meeting the HVS Study Program/Size recommendations) and development cost at each proposed location.
An important to factor in attracting conventions, is the proximity of the facility to hotels and entertainment attractions.
HSBC Site – Nearby hotels and activity centers
Delaware Site and Statler Site – Nearby hotels and activity centers
TVS also met with the BNCC’s Local Customer Advisory Board and their National Customer Advisory Board to hear directly from current and prospective users of the BNCC to understand the issues, needs, and preferences of these organizations in terms of the current BNCC facility and what they want/expect from a Convention Center.
Based on this summary and the analysis included in this report, which included a qualitative and quantitative review of each site, input from industry stakeholders the Delaware site bound by Franklin, Mohawk, Delaware and Huron Streets was recommended as the best site for a new convention center. It meets recommended building program for the Erie County market and provides the greatest value for the least cost.
Delaware Site – Recommended project elements
Delaware Site Layout
Public comments on the Architectural/ Engineering Assessment of a New or Expanded Convention Center will be accepted until March 14, 2020.
Last updated: March 16, 2020 8:31am