Jonathan D. Epstein, The Buffalo News
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Jonathan D. Epstein

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Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers real estate and development. He formerly covered banking and insurance, and has worked at The Buffalo News since January 2004. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is an upstate New York native.

Plans for the historic restoration and adaptive reuse of the old Schoellkopf ice house are on hold amid concerns about the structural integrity of parts of the historic building in Buffalo's Valley neighborhood. Businessman Jon Williams wants to redevelop the entire 21.7-acre industrial site at the corner of Elk and Lee streets, near the Buffalo River, into residential,…

The vast former Niagara Machine & Tool Works factory casts a huge shadow on Northland Avenue. Inside its hulking interior, black oil-soaked wood blocks, some buckled into mounds, cover most of the dirt subfloor. Puddles of rainwater collect below gaps in the roof, while broken glass litters the ground. Rusty yellow cranes sit overhead on tracks, their unused hooks d…

Hamister Group has sold a Tennessee hotel after spending more than $1 million on its renovation. The Buffalo-based health care and hospitality firm, which owns and operates the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Buffalo, said it sold a 62-room Fairfield Inn in Smyrna, Tenn., southeast of Nashville. Hamister acquired the hotel in 2004. "This disposition underscores our str…

After more than three hours of testimony, Chason Affinity Co.'s request for six zoning variances for an Elmwood Avenue condominium project was tabled by the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday, further holding up the $30 million project that has already lingered in uncertainty for months. The panel had started discussion on the matter in order to make a ruling, when membe…

A Buffalo-based commercial and industrial deep-sea diving firm plans to build two pole barns on its Katherine Street property for commercial boat and construction equipment storage. Mark Judd's Bidco Marine Group Inc. plans to add 10,872 square feet of dry storage and maintenance space on its five-acre parcel at 220 Katherine, along the Buffalo River in the Old First Wa…

Ellicott Development Co. hopes to start construction within 45 days on a six-story, retail and office building next to Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Main Street. The development company plans to unveil adaptive-reuse plans for the church shortly. Ellicott Development, owned by Carl and William Paladino, received city approval earlier this year to construct a $35 m…

A Williamsville real estate investor wants to build a nine-unit apartment building on West Utica Street in Buffalo. Whitesand Family is seeking city Planning Board approval to demolish a 117-year-old, two-story home and construct a three-story building on a 0.16-acre lot at 297 W. Utica St., with indoor parking on the first floor. The Board agreed Monday to take the lea…

Grocer Joe Dash and his attorney thought they were asking for a simple zoning change to make his new Hertel Avenue market consistent with other large grocery stores in the city. Instead, they found themselves confronting vocal critics as they made their pitch to the Buffalo Planning Board on Monday night. Dash wants to demolish his existing Dash's Market at 1764 Her…

May Wang will have to wait a little longer before she can proceed with her plans for a new apartment building on Allen Street. The Buffalo Preservation Board last week delayed a vote on her proposal to retain as much of the historic facade of 15 Allen as possible, demolish the rest, and rebuild a new three-story structure in its place. They liked the $1.7 million plan f…

Hot dog, hot dog, hot-diggity-dog! Increasing sales and the spread of its business to 15 states is prompting Sahlen Packing Co. Inc. to expand its Buffalo operation with a new high-pressure packaging and storage facility. The goal is to enhance food safety, while also extending the shelf-life of its meats, which don't sell as quickly outside of the Western New York…

A North Buffalo neighborhood that has already seen five old manufacturing buildings brought back to life or targeted for redevelopment is poised to see another enormous daylight factory turn into apartments. Developer Nick Sinatra wants to transform the long-vacant Pierce-Arrow Factory Complex at 255 Great Arrow Ave. into 72 new market-rate loft apartments. The project …

When Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church unveiled plans to turn a section of its Elmwood Village building into loft apartments, the project was hailed as an imaginative effort to help the small congregation shoulder the costs of caring for a church that dates back to 1895. Now, it's caught in a dispute between the partners and contractors over money. The project's g…

Soon to be playing at the former Movieland 8: church services – coke and popcorn not included. One of the area's biggest megachurches, The Chapel, has acquired the former discount moviehouse in Cheektowaga, which will become the new home for one of its three area campuses. The church paid $1.3 million to DLC Management Corp. of Tarrytown to buy the 200 Thruway Plaz…

Pine Pharmaceuticals, an affiliate of Niagara Falls-based Pine Pharmacy, kicked off construction on its $5.6 million new facility in TM Montante Development's Riverview Solar Technology Park in Tonawanda, which is expected to create 15 new jobs. The new 25,000-square-foot facility will include "cleanrooms" to provide specific sterile injectable products for doctors' pra…

Giving tax breaks to encourage adaptive-reuse development projects that include apartments and hotels has been controversial among government critics and taxpayer advocates, but a new report by the county's economic development agency claims it's paying off. The report by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, conducted by Redevelopment Resources and issued Thur…