A private deal between the Seneca Nation and Ellicott Development has cleared the way for sale of two city streets and a city agency building while maintaining access to a Seneca casino building.
Ellicott Development wants to buy and close all of both Market streets in the city's First Ward for parking. Late in the process, the Senecas stepped in, saying closing the street would take away their only access to a building used as a warehouse and training center for the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino.
The two sides bargained and the Council approved a series of measures to make it all work.
"(This is) a lesson for other parties who are coming into Buffalo to do business," said Council President Darius Pridgen.
"I think that oft-times, people come into Buffalo who have not been doing business in Buffalo and think they can do whatever, without involving the people around them, without involving this Council and then, in the end, when it's a mess, we're the ones sitting there holding the bag, or at least the ones hearing the complaints."
Neither side was too specific about details, but Seneca Tribal Councilor Rick Jemison says the Nation keeps its access and Ellicott CEO William Paladino says the company can now go ahead with its plans for expansion around the Fairmont Creamery high-rise.
"It's good for everybody and like the president said, this example of cooperation that's good for the city, good for the community, good for everyone," said Jemison
Jemison says Seneca leadership is looking at some options on projects on the casino property but says there are no decisions yet.