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Just like at FNC, big development planned in front of Bruins arena

The site of the demolished old Boston Garden will be developed in front of the TD Garden (rear, as shown in this 1998 Boston Globe photo).

By Mike Harrington

BOSTON -- The Sabres are breaking ground in a few weeks on Harbor Center, Terry Pegula's $123 million pet project in front of First Niagara Center that will feature a hotel, restaurant and two hockey rinks. By the drawings I've seen and the conversations I've had with people about it, it should be spectacular and another game-changer downtown.

Just a parking lot and it will now be a destination spot. The Boston Bruins are planning something similar on a lot in front of TD Garden -- on the spot that used to be the home of the old Boston Garden. 

The Bruins are planning a pair of 400-foot-plus towers on the site. A Target department store, a supermarket, offices, residences. See the link with the story from the Globe. It will really add to the neighborhood, which is already busy because the Garden is actually atop North Station, a prime transportation hub for the city and its suburbs.

The new Garden is a boiler plate arena and there's some bars and restaurants nearby, certainly much more than near the FNC. But the place is just plain ugly. Nothing but a concrete wall. Here's what I saw today walking there and crossing Causeway Street:

My garden
A giant blank wall -- with one tiny Bruins poster (right) -- greets you as you approach TD Garden. Yuk. Architecture, anyone?

Now put two 400-foot towers on the spot. Shopping. Residences. Going to a Bruins game -- or a Celtics game -- could be quite an experience in a few years. Urban planners must be loving the thought.


Boston Bruins | First Niagara Center
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |