Archive for March 2016
If, as Paul Attfield suggests in The Globe and Mail, Buffalo is starting to revive this is all for the good. I just hope that the growth will be inclusive of everyone in the city.
For sports fans, Buffalo might be best known as the home of the National Football League’s Bills and National Hockey League’s Sabres, which have the unenviable record of a combined zero wins and six losses in championship series. For others, Buffalo might be known as the third poorest city in the United States, trailing only Cleveland and Detroit, and yet one more example of a former industrial behemoth fallen on hard times in the heart of the U.S. rust belt.
But something seems to be stirring in Western New York. The area is undergoing more than $5.5-billion (U.S.) in new economic development, mostly in downtown Buffalo. Projects such as the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the recreational facilities at the Canalside park and SolarCity’s gigafactory, the largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the Western Hemisphere, are generating more than 12,000 new jobs over the next three years.
“It’s a really good problem to have and it’s changed the way we think about our community,” says Thomas Kucharski, president and chief executive officer of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, a private, non-profit economic development organization. “We went from the whole four Super Bowls and two [Stanley] Cups and woe is us to [now] where people are a lot more optimistic than they have been.”
The business community buoys a large part of that optimism, with mixed-use buildings in the city – either proposed, under construction or completed – representing more than $990-million of investment. Among those are Avant, Buffalo’s first mixed-use hotel-office-luxury condominium high rise situated in a former federal building, and the Larkin Center of Commerce, which was previously a soap factory and is now home to almost 100 businesses and service providers.
The seven-storey Conventus Center for Collaborative Medicine, part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, was completed last year by Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. on a two-acre site. Located on the northern edge of Buffalo’s central business district, Conventus will act as the link between the University at Buffalo school of medicine and biomedical sciences and John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, when they are completed.