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Statler teeters. Larkin rooted.

   In Business Today: Plans for reviving one old Buffalo building look iffy. Plans for another have taken root.

Statler buyers eye deadline extension - Matt Glynn/The Buffalo News
  The prospective buyers of the Statler Towers are trying to rally public support for their efforts, amid the possibility they will seek an extension of a key deadline.
   Mark D. Croce and James J. Eagan on Wednesday welcomed a crowd that included developers and Statlernewser elected officials to the chilly, shuttered Niagara Square landmark to share their plans for revitalizing the Statler in phases. [Buffalo News Video.]
   Holding the gathering at the Statler was intended to "create public awareness, remind people what is here and what it is we're asking the public to buy into," Croce said.
   The two principals were joined by leaders of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, who advocate saving and restoring the Statler, rather than leaving it at risk of demolition. ...
  Croce and Knoer said all of those funds would not necessarily come from public sources. But they suggested that any government money devoted to those repairs would cost taxpayers far less than if the Statler ended up abandoned and had to be torn down. Demolition expenses could run $15 million or higher, they said. ...
   Mayor Byron W. Brown did not attend Wednesday's event at the Statler. At an appearance earlier in the day, he said the city is "ready to step in in a major way" but needs to see a more extensive plan for reviving the Statler before committing financial help. ...
   Knoer addressed the idea of submitting a comprehensive plan to the city and Empire State Development Corp., the state's economic development arm....
   [You guys need to build a really cool website about your plans, so bloggers like me can link to it.] 

- Larkin District street work completed - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   Buffalo city leaders joined with First Niagara Financial Group and developer Howard Zemsky on Wednesday to mark the completion of a streetscape beautification project in the Larkin District, while announcing a new $500,000 state grant to restore more commercial and residential buildings. [Buffalo News Video]
   Public and private-sector officials unveiled more than a half-mile of street improvements along Seneca Street  between Larkin Street and Fillmore Avenue, including new streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs, landscaping, lighting, benches, bus shelters and crosswalks.
   The Spotlight Larkin Streetscape Project covers sections of Seneca, Van Rensselaer, Swan and Emslie streets. The project was announced in December.
   The work was paid for through a $2 million investment by the city, National Grid USA and First Niagara, which moved its corporate headquarters to the Larkin at Exchange Building a year ago. First Niagara committed $1.5 million, plus another $50,000 to the Larkin Community Improvement Fund, while the city invested $200,000. National Grid gave $250,000 from its urban corridor revitalization program, one of several economic development initiatives. ...
   The Old First Ward Community Association said it received a new $500,000 Main Street grant from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal to help with additional commercial and residential restorations in the neighborhood. ...

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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