Momentum seems to be picking up everywhere, even through the winter.  Ellicott Development’s work on The Graystone, despite its previous condition, is another step forward for Downtown.

From The Buffalo News:

After years of abandonment and decay so severe that trees grew through the roof of the six-story building, the former Graystone Hotel in downtown Buffalo has been given new life as a 42-unit apartment complex, following a two-year reconstruction and redevelopment effort by Ellicott Development Co.

The new Graystone Residences open today at noon at 24 South Johnson Park, with a mixture of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Rents are from $750 to $1,600 per month – mostly in the $900 to $1,200 range – with about 25 percent to 30 percent already leased, said Ellicott CEO William Paladino. Read more here.

43North Business Competiton Launches

With $5 million in cash prizes, including a top award of $1 million, six $500,000 awards and four $250,000 awards, 43North is setting out to turn the best new business ideas from around the globe into reality.

Winners also receive free incubator space for a year, guidance from mentors related to their field and access to other exciting incentive programs.

43North is open to applicants in any industry, with the exception of retail and hospitality, and winners agree to operate their business in the Buffalo, New York for a minimum of one year.

The competition includes three rounds of judging:
1.  Feb 5, 2014 to May 31, 2014: 43North accepts applications via
2.  Sept 15, 2014 to Sept 20, 2014: Semifinalists present their plans via webinar
3.  Oct 27, 2014 to Oct 31, 2014: Finalists present their plans during a weeklong series of events in Buffalo, NY

This ambitious initiative is part of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic pledge of $1 billion in state funding to ignite economic growth in the Buffalo, New York region.

More information here.

First Presbyterian Church Tower Benefit Concert

The BPO Presents

Love Letter to Buffalo:  A benefit concert for First Presbyterian Church’s Tower Restoration

Friday, February 21, 8:00 PM Paul Ferington, conductor

The BPO is pleased to reach out to our neighbors across Symphony Circle and present this  special concert benefiting First Presbyterian Church’s historic tower restoration.  Through music we celebrate our love for this great community treasure and proceeds will go to One Symphony Circle Tower Restoration Fund.  Please join us!

A  champagne reception will follow, hosted by Quaker Bonnet.

General admission – $40    PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

Tickets also for sale at the BPO Box Office and at the Church doors on concert night.

ULI Outer Harbor Forum – Tues Dec 3rd 8a-10a

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Western New York is hosting the Outer Harbor Forum.  For more information, please click here.


Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, including over 130 acres of the area’s largest urban waterfront land tract, is about to be developed as the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority transfers the land to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development.  Governor Cuomo said he hopes to see the ECHDC provide a mixed-use development plan for this land including a public access component along with some residential and commercial development.  The land has sat largely unused for decades. What will it become? The process to determine how the land will be developed to cement Buffalo’s reputation as a true waterfront city will soon begin.  With input from Buffalo’s Chief Planner, Brendan Mehaffy, ECHDC’s Chair, Robert Gioia, as well as Uwe Brandes, a nationally respected planner with waterfront development experience in Buffalo, NYC, and D.C., we hope to kick start this conversation.


The event will include a continental breakfast, presentations, and panel discussion set in front of some of the Outer Harbor’s best views on the 37th floor of One Seneca Tower.


MODERATOR: Stephen Fitzmaurice, COO, Seneca One Realty LLC


PANELISTS: Uwe Brandes, Executive Director, Masters of Professional Studies in Urban and Regional Planning, Georgetown University Robert Gioia – Chairman, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Brendan Mehaffy – Executive Director, Office of Strategic Planning, City of Buffalo


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

8:00 – 8:30 am Registration & Networking

8:30 – 9:30 am Presentations

9:30 – 10:00 am Panel Discussion and Q&A

M&T’s “Holiday Music Under the Dome” Concert Series

M&T Bank
Celebrates 29th Annual ‘Holiday Music Under the Dome’ at
Fountain Plaza Branch in Downtown Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y.— M&T Bank heralds in the holiday season with its 29th annual
“Holiday Music Under the Dome” concert series, beginning Monday, Dec. 2 at noon
at M&T’s Fountain Plaza branch in downtown Buffalo.

Seasonal performances by local high school students will occur every weekday at
noon beginning on Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec. 13. On Saturday, Dec. 14
at 1 p.m., M&T Bank welcomes the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. All of the
concerts are free and open to the public.

“The concert series has become a holiday season favorite in downtown Buffalo,
providing local artists a stage to perform on before a diverse audience while
investing in downtown Buffalo’s community life,” said M&T Bank Western New
York Regional President Jeff Wellington. “Our lineup showcases the
extraordinary talent of young people throughout our region, and concludes with
an always-remarkable performance by the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo
Philharmonic Orchestra. We hope downtown residents and visitors will join us
for another great series under the beauty of the golden dome.”

The full concert schedule includes:
Monday, December 2 — Mount Mercy “Pure Magic” Show Choir
Tuesday, December 3 — Canisius High School Performing Ensembles
Wednesday, December 4 — WNY Maritime Charter School / St. Mary’s School for the
Deaf Sign Chorus
Thursday, December 5 — Vox Caeciliae Immaculata Academy
Friday, December 6 — Maryvale High School Chorale
Monday, December 9 — Iroquois High School Choirs
Tuesday, December 10 — Bishop Timon / St. Jude Men’s Chorus
Wednesday, December 11 — St. Francis High School Schola Cantorum
Thursday, December 12 — The Arts Academy Choir (Buffalo Academy for the Visual
& Performing Arts)
Friday, December 13 — St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Swing Choir
Saturday, December 14 (from 1-2 p.m.) — Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday
About M&T Bank

M&T Bank was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1856, and is one of the top 20
independent commercial bank holding companies in the U.S., with $84 billion in
assets and more than 725 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Working For Downtown

Billion For Buffalo Delivers

Governor Andrew Cuomo received multiple standing ovations at the Adam’s Mark Hotel this morning when he laid out the details of a $225 million investment from the state into the creation of a clean-energy research campus on 90 acres of land along the Buffalo River that will include two tenants investing $750 million apiece to create a total of 850 jobs.  Where Republic Steel once stood, two high tech companies, SORAA and Sileveo, will now operate in 275,000 square foot facilities due to be completed in 18 months and called Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub @ Riverbend.  The state will own the buildings and the equipment in them.  This model for keeping the businesses in town works because the companies are provided that space and expensive equipment they could not otherwise afford on their own to do cutting edge research.  You can read the entire article by Stephen T. Watson and Tom Precious from The Buffalo News here.

Central Business District: Downtown takes new shape


Central Business District: Downtown takes new shape

By James Fink, Business First

October 18, 2013


These days, the welcome signs of bulldozers, cranes and backhoes can be found on many blocks in Buffalo’s central business district.

And no one is complaining.

Projects abound from the western downtown edge of Elmwood Avenue to the eastern boundary along the Elm-Oak Corridor. Some are traditional bricks and mortar, such as Uniland Development Co.’s $46 million Catholic Health headquarters on Genesee Street. Others are infrastructure-based, such as the “Cars Sharing Main Street” initiative or turning Pearl Street back into two-way traffic.

Combined, more than $1 billion in construction projects have been completed, are under construction or in the local economic development pipeline.

“I’ve been coming to Buffalo regularly since 1999 and I am finally seeing the signs of progress that we all hoped would have happened a long time ago,” said Sen. Charles Schumer.

The list is long and and diverse, including:

• Uniland proposed an $80 million, 515,000-square-foot office building and hotel at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street. The Class A space likely will be the new corporate headquarters for Delaware North Cos. The company may occupy as much as 150,000 square feet of the 12-story structure.

• The Hamister Group Inc. is working on a $40 million conversion of the 18-story Tishman Building that overlooks Lafayette Square. The building will house a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn, Hamister’s corporate offices and upscale apartments.

• Architect Steve Carmina bought a vacant building on Roosevelt Square and is renovating it into his private residence.

• Rocco Termini’s $46 million renovation of the Hotel @ The Lafayette has attracted national attention.

• The law firm of Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP bought and renovated the circa 1906 Calumet Building on Chippewa Street for its new headquarters.

• Cars Sharing Main Street has seen $31 million invested in the downtown core to bring lanes of vehicular traffic back to the Main Street spine. By fall 2014, the effort will have created traffic lanes from Tupper Street south to Mohawk Street.

“It is an absolute game-changer,” Schumer said.

Cars Sharing Main Street is expected to have a $71 million spin-off in private sector projects developed along the spine of the central business district.

“It has created a whole new look and feel in downtown Buffalo,” said Rep. Brian Higgins.

That new look and confidence for Main Street have attracted likely and unlikely investors alike.

The law firm of Ricotta & Visco spent more than $1.6 million to bring a century-old building not only back to life but as its operations base. A few years ago, the firm would not have considered making such an investment, said founding partner Kevin Ricotta.

“We consider it a new beginning – for us, for the building, for downtown,” he said.

James Fink covers real estate, commercial development and government

Wilkeson Point – New Outer Harbor Park

Wilkeson Pointe, the new park located in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, is open and worth visiting.  The park has a multitude of pedestrian paths, volleyball courts, “natural” playgrounds, public boat docking, and access to the water’s edge.  But one of the most striking elements of the new park are the Wind Sculptures that rise above the site.  With plenty of activities to enjoy, and wonderful views of the sunset over the water, Wilkeson Pointe is a destination that shouldn’t be missed

Buffalo Rising has a full write-up here.

Buffalo Rising’s Full Aricle