The crews are hard at work on Webster Block property, and the construction started earlier in the month, said Cliff Benson, chief development officer for the Sabres.
Management agreed that 75 percent of the construction workers on the project will be from a hundred mile radius of Buffalo, not including Canada, according to Benson.
"We wants this as much to be Buffalo-centric as possible, in terms of the people that build it and work there," Benson said.
He spoke during Friday's ceremony in which the the Sabres and the city of Buffalo finalized the purchase of the Webster Block property for HARBORcenter.
The project will also include a hotel, but that won't be available until 2015.
"We're building a hotel. We're in discussions. We can't announce that yet, but I think it's a flag that everybody will be very pleased with," Benson said.
Benson is aware the project has its critics, but he says they gathered a lot of input on the building's design, believing it'll improve the scenery for those driving into Buffalo.
HARBORcenter, scheduled to open in September 2014, is a $170 million, multipurpose facility that will sit directly across from First Niagara Center in the city's Canalside district. The structure will be anchored by two new ice rinks that will be available for community use, and that 200-room, full-service hotel. Besides the rinks and hotel, plans also include a hockey-themed, upscale restaurant and bar, additional retail space, and an 850-space parking structure.
It's expected HARBORcenter will draw over half-a-million people to downtown Buffalo annually.