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.

The Buffalo Lunch Bunch: June 13, 2014

The Buffalo Lunch Bunch

Announcing “The Buffalo Lunch Bunch” at Canalside on Friday, June 13th, 2014 at 12 noon!

Hundreds of people will join together at this lunchtime community event in the formation of a “living Buffalo” to celebrate the revitalization of Buffalo. People are invited to be part of the art of “BuffaLove” – a human formation of a Buffalo- Aerial photo will be taken.

Your $20 ticket includes a T-Shirt, Chiavetta’s Chicken BBQ, & participation in the “living Buffalo” photo

Live music by “Heard of Buffalo”

Participants MUST register here: 

Facebook Page for the event:


In addition to the aforementioned activities, participants will also be able to view a demonstration by the Buffalo Fire Department’s Edward M. Cotter fireboat, in the harbor at 11 a.m. that day. The event will be hosted by 97 Rock’s Jickster and will also be videotaped by WGRZ-TV to include in a future “This Is Home” television promo.

This event is on June 13, 2014 12:00pm – 1:00pm

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.

PWC moving out of tower, into Larkinville

blj-sr-onesenecatowerhsbc-031414-600xx1197-1800-0-0In a move that surprised few, the region’s third largest CPA firm is abandoning the former HSBC tower in favor of the Larkin district.

“We can’t say it was one thing over another with our decision about where to move the office,” said Keith Stolzenburg, PricewaterhouseCoopers managing partner. “But, the Larkin District is a very funky place to be.”

Stolzenberg said with the average age of his firm’s employees just under 30, the “hip” factor of the Larkin District proved to be selling point.

The tower has lost several major anchor tenants in the past few years including the Canadian Consulate, HSBC Bank and thePhillips Lytle law firm. Where, once nearly all of its 851,000-square-feet were leased, the building is more than 95 percent vacant.

Development and ownership plans remain in flux and largely dependent on the outcome of the foreclosure process.

See the entire story from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First here.

Medical Campus to gain residents, ammenities

campussquare-600xx273-182-24-0A school of music, a school of dance, a coffee shop, and a fresh-food grocery make up some of the community services that will accompany a planned $200M residential development in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.  The McGuire Group and Mark Trammel are teaming up to develop a 12-acre piece of land bordered by Best and North, Ellicott and Michigan.

From Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First,

Jeff Lehrbach, McGuire vice president and chief financial officer, said his company hopes to present formal plans for the Pilgrim Village development vision, now being called Campus Square and North Ellicott Commons, to Buffalo officials this July, starting with the city’s Planning Board. If approved, construction could start on the first phase this fall.”

Buffalo to compete for federal dollars to fund Main Street work

carsonmain-600xx320-213-0-0The city and Buffalo Place Inc. have submitted a formal request to the federal Department of Transportation for a $28 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to fund a large percentage of the next “Cars Sharing Main Street” phase. That would cover a portion of Main Street between Mohawk Street to the south side of Lafayette Square and, a portion of lower Main Street that includes Canalside, beginning at Exchange Street and heading south to Perry Street.

The entire project has a $35 million price tag, with the city of Buffalo picking up the $7 million difference between the federal TIGER grant request and the next phase’s bottom line.

Federal TIGER grant awards are expected to be announced by November.

The proposed next phases of “Cars Sharing Main Street” may be among the most important to downtown’s long-term future. The stretch between Mohawk Street and Lafayette Square will cross in front of the 10 Lafayette Building, a $42 million project being undertaken by the Hamister Group that will see the vacant Tishman Building renovated into a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel, Hamister’s corporate offices and 18 apartments. That project should be completed this fall.

More here from Jim Fink at Buffalo Business First.

Nick Sinatra snatches up Phoenix Brewery building


In a deal that has been in the works since late last year, real estate investor Nick Sinatra has closed on the late 1800s former Phoenix Brewery building in Buffalo.

Sinatra, according to documents filed in the Erie County Clerk’s office, paid $1.78 million for the 50,000-square-foot Washington Street warehouse that sits near the southern edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The building had been owned by local antiques dealer Joseph Parlato.

Initial plans call for as many as 40 apartments to be developed inside the building. The building’s primary tenant base will be workers in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus as well as those employed in the central business district.

Sinatra expects to formally file plans for his development with Buffalo officials later this spring.

All told, Sinatra said he will be investing $5 million in the project and will be applying for state historic tax credits to help with the financing. The property was toured last month by representatives from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as a prelude to securing the tax credits.

Read more about this story and the continuing development near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus from Buffalo Business First and Buffalo Rising.