Scratch Connecticut, Campus Labs Expands Downtown

Campus Labs/Higher One Inc. has moved closer to securing a deal that will see the company expand in downtown Buffalo instead of shifting operations to Connecticut.

One of the key milestones took place when the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board approved a $300,000 grant for the company. Plans call for Campus Labs/Higher One Inc. to move its offices from its current Ellicott Street location and anchor McGuire Development’s renovation of the century-old but largely vacant Burns Building on E. Huron Street.

Read more here from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First.

Frank Lloyd Wright filling station on line in Buffalo


Buffalo’s past has, officially, come to life in the city’s newest tourist destination that many feel will double as an economic development generator.


Developer James Sandoro on Friday took the official wraps off of his $6.3 million, 40,000-square-foot expansion of the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum. The centerpiece of the museum is a filing station famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1927 for the then-intersection of Michigan Avenue and Cherry Street — but was never built. The Kensington Expressway now runs through where the station would have stood.


Instead, Sandoro, an automotive and history buff, acquired the designs from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and set about funding raising efforts to see the station finally built in Buffalo.


Work on the museum’s expansion began nearly two years ago.


“I consider this another important piece in the arsenal we can use to attract business here,” said Tim Clark, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission executive director.

More here from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First.


ColoCrossing leaves Williamsville for Downtown Buffalo

Yet another company has realized the benefits of working in the downtown core, as opposed to the isolation of the suburbs.

ColoCrossing confirmed it will relocate from Williamsville to 325 Delaware Ave. in downtown Buffalo.

The move to the 9,000 square-foot, former National Gypsum Co. building will take place later this year.

The company needed the additional space to service customers.

ColoCrossing offers cloud computing, hosting and shared hosting. The tech company employs 27, and has plans to hire up to 15 more.

Story and image courtesy of David Bertola at Buffalo Business First.



YMCA is moving to Gates Circle

The YMCA Buffalo Niagara has officially signed a letter of intent to move its North Buffalo branch to the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital property.

The commitment is one of the first steps toward the YMCA building a 70,000-square-foot facility that will help anchor the $63 million transformation of the now-vacant hospital complex into a mixed-use community. The project is being shepherded by TM Montante Development with Canterbury Woods agreeing to build a senior living facility on the property that will also serve as an anchor.

More here from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First.

More here from Buffalo Rising.

$1,000 solar manufacturing jobs pending Elon Musk plans

Local economic development officials remain confident that Silevo, the California-based solar panel manufacturer being recruited to anchor a South Buffalo clean-energy hub, will follow through with its plans even though the company is being acquired by a rival firm lead by a well-known entrepreneur.

Elon Musk’s SolarCity Corp. announced plans Tuesday to acquire Silevo for $200 million — a price that could climb to $350 million — and bring more than 1,000 jobs to Buffalo. The deal would cement SolarCity’s position as one of the top producers of solar energy devices and products.

Combined the two companies represent a $1.5 billion investment. Silevo and Soraa are to jointly occupy 275,000-square-feet at Riverbend.

Musk on his SolarCity blog hinted that the Buffalo project would advance, but, instead of a 200-megawatt capacity, he envisions it having a 1 gigawatt output, five times the initial plans.

See more about these revised plans to a previously released story from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First.

Shea’s invests another $900K into restoration work

With its 2013-2014 season completed, officials from Shea’s Buffalo Theatre have turned their attention to the final phase of restoration work in its main auditorium.

Crews from Evergreene Architectural Arts have started restoring 80 percent of the theater’s main ceiling, including its dome and high walls. The project will be completed by late August, in time for Shea’s new season.

The project carries a $900,000 price tag and part of an overall $2.5 million renovation package of the downtown Buffalo cultural and architectural landmark.

Find the entire story here from James Fink at Buffalo Business First.

NYS incentives lure Blue Bridge to expand downtown

In exchange for creating 71 jobs over the next three years, Blue Bridge Financial LLC has qualified for up to $568,173 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from Empire State Development.

Currently headquartered in Williamsville, as well as Tampa and San Francisco, Blue Bridge will be expanding into the Electric Tower downtown.

More here from Buffalo Business First.

6 sites under consideration for IBM Hub

keytower*304xx250-375-28-0500 jobs. 100,000 square feet of office space.  The IBM hub has become one of the most coveted clients in recent years for area developers.

According to state and local officials, six locations submitted bids before the May 2 deadline.  All were located in the immediate downtown or Larkin districts.  All bidders must be willing to outright sell the office space to the state and IBM would be the state’s tenant.

More here from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First.


Canalside concert schedule announced

canalside2014-girltalk-cc-angela-n-600xx1200-800-0-0For the first time since the concert series began in 1988, the shows are not being presented by Buffalo Place Inc. Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum was awarded the concert production contract following a bidding process undertaken by the ECHDC. Global Spectrum also won the contract’s to promote, manage and maintain the 20-acre Canalside district.

The concerts, which remain the signature events among the more than 800 planned for Canalside this year, were booked by Funtime Presents, the local agency that has landed major national recording acts for the waterfront for more than a decade. In the past, the concerts attract more than 200,000 people and have an economic impact on downtown Buffalo estimated at $7 million.

This year’s bookings are diverse, with hip-hop artist Shaggy, Canadian acts Sam Roberts and Tragically Hip lead singerGord Downie. Also booked is the husband/wife guitar-playing Derek Trucksand Susan Tedeschi. A performance by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, playing selections from Michael Jackson and Earth Wind & Fire is on the schedule.

“Faster and louder or slower and soulful -music is about diversity of sound and rhythm and that’s also what Canalside is all about this summer season,” said Robert Gioia, ECHDC chairman. “We will rock it out some nights and feel the blues on others– 2014 will be the summer that has something for everyone who gets to the waterfront when mikes are on and the guitars are plugged in.”

Read more from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First here.