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Kaleta Group plans to build twin ice rinks in Hamburg

The Southtowns has long needed a new hockey complex. There are now plans to build two in Hamburg, including one with former Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta as a partner.

Liberatore Management Group and Ellicott Development are finalizing plans with the Kaleta Group 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 by phone 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 return a call for comment. The Town Board meets Monday.

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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