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The Buffalo News (New York)
The Southtowns has long needed a new hockey complex.
Now there are plans to build two in Hamburg, one by the town and the other that includes former Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta as a key partner.
The Kaleta Group is finalizing plans with Liberatore Management Group and Ellicott Development for a 186,000-square-foot sports and entertainment complex in Hamburg, The Buffalo News has learned. The recreation area would include two ice rinks, two multisport fields and be home to the HITS Foundation, a charity founded by Kaleta.
The privately-funded venture has an anticipated completion date of summer 2018. The three parties involved said they will release further details, including the site, at a later date.
In May, the Hamburg Town Board negotiated a deal with Sportstar Capital of Toronto to build a $25 million complex. Marty Starkman, president of Sportstar, said this week his plans have not changed. He also expects to have his two-rink, multisport facility completed by the summer of 2018.
"I have selected a site," Starkman said. "I am probably going to finish all of the agreements before Christmas. That's been the sticking point, but real estate never goes quickly. I think the site is a good one.
"The snags seem to have disappeared, so we should have something in the next two weeks."
Both parties said their projects will create jobs, with the Liberatore-Ellicott-Kaleta triumvirate putting the number at 80.
Steven J. Walters, Hamburg's town supervisor, did not immediately return a call for comment.
The one-rink Hamburg Nike Base and two-surface Leisure Rinks in Orchard Park are the main providers of ice time in the Southtowns. The Kaleta Group has tried in vain to build a complex for at least three years, and it appears to have found success by teaming with Liberatore and the Carl Paladino-led Ellicott Development.
The ice-rink void is why Sportstar struck its deal with Hamburg, which involves the town securing the property.
"I see the facilities in the area," Starkman said. "They're a little aged, a little tired. This will add to the hockey-rink inventory.
"I'm excited about getting something going in Hamburg because it represents the area well, and I think they'll be very successful. There's a lot of enthusiasm. It's not a dead issue at all."
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