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What on earth is THAT????

No, it's not your imagination.

Anyone walking or driving through downtown Buffalo near Crane the waterfront might have rubbed their eyes to see if they were being misled Friday morning. But the sight that beheld them was quite real.

On the southeastern corner of the Webster Block, where the Sabres are building their HarborCenter project, stood the tallest bright yellow crane this city has seen in decades, if not ever.

At 236 feet off the ground, the canary yellow tower crane - being built with another giant crane -  dwarfs everything around it, and leaves no doubt of the height of the $172.2 million project conceived by the Sabres and owner Terry Pegula.

"You start realizing how big of a building this is, going into that lot," said Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert.

"People in Buffalo aren’t used to seeing cranes in downtown. It’s going to be great for people coming down the 190 or at the waterfront to see this crane in the air. They’re going to know this project is for real and it’s moving forward."

The new crane -- one of two that will be erected, with the other one going up in the northern part of the block, will remain on site throughout the construction process, providing the height and reach to bring supplies up as the mammoth building takes shape. The cranes were brought in from Kansas and Tennessee.

"It makes it easier for accessibility, with the reach those cranes have," Gilbert said. "This is all part of what it costs to build a building of this magnitude."

 - Jonathan D. Epstein

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