BATAVIA — Soon the first floor space used for storage at Batavia Downs will be cleared out to make way for a new video gaming floor with 779 gaming machines.
Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. approved construction bids on Thursday for a new 100-foot by 100-foot maintenance and storage building. The facility will go next to one about the same size on the southeast side of the track in the city of Batavia.
The new building, approved at a cost of $621,080, will free up room in the first floor of Batavia Downs, which will be the focus of an estimated $27 million transformation.
“This allows us to vacant completely the first floor for the gaming expansion,” said Michael Kane, president and CEO of WROTB.
The organization will shift the second floor gaming floor to the downstairs, expanding the number of gaming machines from 640 to 779.
“There will be a lot more space for our customers,” Kane said. “The machines will be comfortably spaced.”
The project will also include a Thurman Thomas sports bar, a new restaurant, a full-service Tim Hortons, and other improvements, including a revamped façade and two-story front atrium.
Construction on that project is expected to begin in October. First the design and bid specifications need final sign-off from the state Lottery and Office of General Services. Lottery has already approved the floor design, which will require WROTB to move the upstairs smoking rooms to the downstairs. About 200 of the gaming machines, or about 25 percent of the total, will be inside the smoking rooms, Kane said.
While WROTB works to get the final approvals in place for the expansion, it can now proceed with the new 10,000-square-foot warehouse and maintenance building. It will pay D’Agostino General Contractors of Rochester $488,000 for general construction. Other bids accepted include: $54,780 for Cogenic Mechanical in Rochester to install the heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and $78,300 for Suburban Electric of Albion for electrical work.
The historic track on Park Road also has received a new sign and contractors are about 75 percent complete with new roofs on the main building.
The work is being paid for from a capital fund, which comes from 4 percent of the net revenue of the gaming center, a $40 million annual business for WROTB.