Back To The Future: Building Boom In Buffalo | News
BUFFALO, N.Y. - It's hard to walk a few blocks around downtown without bumping into a new development.
Here's just a sample:
There's the spectacular Avant Building at 200 Delaware;
The Statler building nearly right across the street from it;
A few blocks southeast is the beautiful new Lafayette Hotel project;
Right near by is the Tishman building at Lafayette Square which was bought back in May;
And to the south is the Webster Block where it was recently announced that the Sabres have won development rights for a $123 million project.
You could call the Montante family urban pioneers.
Five years ago they bought the old Federal Building on Delaware and bet $85 million on downtown.
That's what it cost to turn the building into a mix of a hotel, office space, and luxury condos.
Scott Brown: "Do you think these projects feed on one another where developers say the Montantes did well and now I'm going to do it?"
Michael Montante, Uniland Development: "Yes I like to believe that Avant has been a catalyst for the other investments that have taken place in recent years in the city of Buffalo, those are all great projects and a rising tide lifts all ships."
Henry Taylor the director of U.B.'s School Of Urban Studies says once other developers with deep pockets saw the success of the Avant they were willing to take a chance on downtown.
Henry Taylor: "Everything builds off of each other because development is about optimism the believe that tomorrow will be better than today and next year will be better than this year."
The projects have a lot in common, including the fact that ironically, the lure for developers has been the great buildings of Buffalo's past that had, like the city itself fallen on hard times, old buildings that are cheaper to redevelop rather than building new.
Henry Taylor: "And they're taking us back to the future with those dollars that they're willing to invest."
Scott Brown: "Where the city is now kind of a cool place to be?"
Henry Taylor: "The city is a cool place to be, just look around you. We could be in California we could be on the Carolina coast but we're in Buffalo."
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