The new vision for the former Sheehan Hospital will be unveiled to the public on Friday, March 8, at the facility at 425 Michigan Ave. in Buffalo. McGuire Development Co. bought
the hospital out of foreclosure for $1.7 million in December and has been working on plans to develop the building as a health center.
Dentistry will operate an on-site dental clinic, and the Langston Hughes
Institute, a not-for-profit community center, will be housed
temporarily in the building.
The company is also working with the Michigan Street Corridor Commission, which was created by an act of the state Legislature in 2007 to work to highlight the neighborhood's place in
African-American history, locally and nationally.
The open house will run from 1-3 p.m., with the announcement of the latest development plans at 2 p.m.
The fate of the HSBC tower is becoming an issue of taxpayer concern.
The owner of the tower - the tallest privately owned building in upstate New York - has floated the idea of having the government pitch in to help keep the building out of bankruptcy court, in part, to give the local community some control over how the building will be used.
The owner - Seneca One, a NYC real estate investment company - is facing a $75 million balloon mortgage payment at the same time the two tenants who take up most of the building are leaving. That's called a financial problem. It's tough to refinance a mortgage when you have an empty building.
Seneca One has a plan to make the top-third of the 38-story building a hotel, the middle-third condos and apartments and the bottom-third office space. It's a lovely plan that would contribute brilliantly to the neighboring Canalside redevelopment efforts.
Local landlords fear the building could be bought cheap in bankruptcy court and the new owner could simply rent the 850,000 square feet space out at low rates, thus drawing tenants from other downtown buildings - and doing little to enhance the emerging Canalside district.
The building towers over the city and will stand as a symbol of Buffalo's new century. What it will convey has yet to be decided.
Dress for Success, a nonprofit boutique that gives free career clothing and mentoring to low-income women, will open its doors Friday in downtown Buffalo. The store, located 20 Court St., aims to serve 300 women in its first year. Clients will come from referral only from local partners, including social services and training programs. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will attend the ribbon-cutting and be joined by Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide; William Acevedo of the Office of the President for The Limited; and Christa Vidaver, executive director of Dress for Success Buffalo. There are 100 Dress for Success affiliates worldwide.
Parking has always been a hot topic in Buffalo. Downtown landlords
compete with suburban office parks that have the big advantage of acres of free parking. The downtown landlords have had some help from the city and the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, which offer cheaper parking than privately owned lots in the city.
Many of the BCAR lots in the downtown core are full with monthly patrons - aka commuters.
But subsidizing the use of private cars has been a longtime bugaboo of environmentalists and mass transit advocates. If the cost of parking rose to market levels, more people would take the bus, they contend.
Landlords say more companies would move out to the suburbs, further threatening the city.
Two downtown titans squared off over the subject at Wednesday's Buffalo Place meeting. Carl Paladino, the largest private landowner in the city, and Mark Croce, restaurateur and owner of the Statler City,
(both of whom own parking lots) see it differently. Paladino supports building more parking ramps to keep parking cheap, while Croce says let the market determine the price. Having more parking spaces open would boost tourism, he says.
It's a potentially explosive issue. How many firms would bail out of the city if they couldn't afford parking for their employees? Would increases in visitation to the city offset the loss? Would the city be a better place with fewer cars jamming the streets?
Sunday's special Prospectus section looked at whether homegrown startups could hold the key to reviving the city's business ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Alphonso O'Neil-White, chief executive officer of HealthNow, was the keynote speaker Jan. 24, 2013 at the 9th annual Buffalo News Prospectus Premiere kickoff dinner in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Lancaster. The head of the largest health insurer in the region is convinced that
the ever-growing health care industry is going to be the key to fixing
the ailing local economy at long last. Listen to O'Neil-White's full speech here:
At the dinner, News Business Editor Grove Potter checked in with various businesspeople about their outlook for 2013:
Judging by the latest unemployment and job numbers, it sure looks bleak for local job seekers.
But is it really?
If you're looking for a job, what's your take on the local job market? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your experience.
Local economists for months have been saying they think a glitch in the state Labor Department's statistics are making the Buffalo Niagara region's job and unemployment numbers look worse than it really is.
And December's numbers sure don't paint a pretty picture. The local unemployment rate jumped to a three-year high of 8.6 percent last month, the labor department said. And last week, the department reported that the region has lost 2,100 jobs over the past year.
Economists, however, say the numbers appear flawed because of a glitch in the data that, over the past year, says the region has lost nearly one of every seven jobs in a job classification that includes administrative, support, waste management and remediation services workers.
Those economists say they expect that glitch, which now says the region has lost 4,000 jobs within that category during the past year, to be corrected - and the drop vastly reduced - when revised figures are released early in March.
The scientific cluster started in 1962, when Roswell Park Cancer Institute researcher Robert Ferguson started a tissue culture company in his garage. Today that company, Life Technologies, employs 582 people. The other companies in the custer are APP Pharmaceuticals,Anda, Rheonix and IsleChem.
Not long ago, the Eastern Hills Mall on Transit Road in Clarence was a premier shopping destination in the region. Then came the Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga, which overshadowed its smaller rival. Not surprisingly, it took a former Galleria executive, Russ Fulton, to bring it back.
That's the hope behind the latest idea to bring visitors to
downtown Buffalo. The Buffalo Brewery District - which has two brewers at present - is being promoted by the Binational Alliance and the founder of the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery. The idea is to coordinate with local hotels to create cross-border overnight packages with winery and craft beer tours.
The two brewers in the district now are the Pearl Street Grill and the Pan-American Grill & Brewery at the Hotel @ Lafayette, and the region has other craft brewers outside the downtown area, including Flying Bison.
Beer and Buffalo..... they might have something there.