Lawmakers held a public hearing prior to the vote.
Clifford Benson, president of HarborCenter Development, LLC and chief development officer for the Sabres, explained to city lawmakers that Sabres owner Terry Pegula has a simple goal in mind with this project.
"One of the things that we could do to add to this community, besides the Sabres, was to try and help develop the waterfront," Benson said in his remarks to the Common Council.
Benson says the city of Pittsburgh had a similar revitalization when it developed its waterfront back in the 1980s. Benson previously worked for another firm when he lived in Pittsburgh.
As the public hearing continued, some business owners expressed traffic concerns, but the Department of Public Works (DPW) said traffic matters were reviewed and there were no major issues.
"And our right away group looked at all the aspects of this project and felt that the impact was acceptable to a project of this nature," said Steve Stepniak, commissioner of the city of Buffalo DPW during Tuesday's public hearing.
Lawmakers also heard concerns about the project's parking ramp from preservationist Tim Tielman, who said he was representing two others with the same concern.
"I would just urge then that the Council not approve this today, but perhaps send it to committee and invite more public discussion on it," Tielman said.
Earlier in the day, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency voted this morning to approve 38-million dollars in tax breaks for the project. Those tax breaks extend over a decade.
And the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation gave its blessing for the project -- as the Webster Block property sits in the Canalside district.
The HarborCenter project could break ground for construction in early March. It includes two indoor ice rinks, two outdoor rinks, a hotel, a sports bar, and retail space.