The Revitalization of Buffalo

(Photo: Melissa Kania)

(Photo: Melissa Kania)

I’m proud to say that I am from Buffalo, New York.

Everyone has their own conceptions of what Buffalo is about. Ask people who aren’t from here and they’ll say things like: the winters, snow, Lake Erie, being close to Canada, less-than-stellar sports teams, chicken wings, etc.

While those things may or may not be true, there are also plenty of other things that are a part of my city. It’s the City of Good Neighbors and the Queen City, and I’m happy to be here. Right now, there is a lot of development going on in Buffalo, and these various projects are really helping to boost the economy, morale and vision of the city; revitalizing Buffalo is a great task and I am so happy to be here to see it occur.

One of the major projects that’s underway is the HARBORcenter, right in downtown Buffalo. Located in what is known as the Webster Block directly across from the First Niagara Center, home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, this is a mixed-use development project that broke ground in April 2013. When it’s completed, the project will contain two NHL-sized hockey rinks for use by local college & junior teams, a Marriott hotel, a restaurant called (716) Food and Sport, a multi-level parking garage and additional retail space. This project is expected to create 350 full-time jobs and it should be a wonderful addition to downtown Buffalo.

Close by, the former Donovan Building has been completely renovated with a new exterior brick and glass facade. The new project will be called One Canalside and will be the home of Phillips Lytle LLP law firm. It will also feature a Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the lower four floors of the building.

Heading up Main Street to the intersection of Main and Court, you’ll find another building under renovation: a $40 million project to restore the Tishman Building to its former glory of the 1950s. The 20-story building used to be the home of National Fuel but is currently under construction and when it’s finished, will feature three floors of apartments, office space, and a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn on the first 14 floors.  The building is on the National Register for Historic Places despite being largely vacant since National Fuel moved in 2003, and it’s absolutely wonderful to see it being renovated and soon to be put to good use.

Right there, that’s three major projects underway within a span of roughly eight blocks, in the heart of downtown Buffalo. I think that’s pretty damn amazing. Downtown Buffalo is on the heels of coming back to life and it is a great thing to behold. There’s still Shea’s Performing Arts Center, a cultural staple of the downtown area (and the newly-opened Dinosaur BBQ located in an old film vault nearby!); there’s still the First Niagara Center, Coca-Cola Field, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, and buildings including the Brisbane and Rath buildings that are great parts of the area.

These are all pieces that are helping to revitalize the city and put it back in people’s minds. When you think of Buffalo, don’t just think of the snow or the proximity to Canada or the chicken wings. Think of all the wonderful things this city has to offer and the developments that are underway to make it even more progressive and forward-thinking. We aren’t dead, we are alive and ready to roar…. or whatever it is that buffalo do. Do they even make noise? WHO KNOWS. The point is, the city of Buffalo, NY is somewhere that I am proud to be from and I am extremely enthusiastic and excited about these new projects that are helping to bring life to this city.

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