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.

Jon Williams wants to bring a historic Buffalo industrial power complex – complete with its towering smokestack – back to life as office, restaurant and living space. Williams' Ontario Specialty Contracting, which owns the former Schoellkopf Icehouse at 229 Elk St. and 83 Lee St., is seeking to convert the Valley neighborhood building into a mixed-use development. …

TM Montante Development and Morgan Communities have kicked off the $150 million redevelopment of the former Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital site into “Lancaster Square at Gates Circle.” Montante acquired the 10-acre property from Kaleida Health, demolished buildings and built new streets. That has positioned the developers to start construction. [Video: The implo…

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services vaulted into the No. 1 position in Western New York home sales after the Pittsburgh-based firm purchased RealtyUSA last year. That followed its earlier acquisition of Rochester's Nothnagle Realtors, which brought the firm into New York only a year earlier. Merle Whitehead had built RealtyUSA into the biggest independent brokerage acros…

A project to create a new neighborhood at Gates Circle will begin with a six-story, brick-and-glass apartment building with first-floor retail, balconies and a rooftop patio. But the larger development around it will no longer include the YMCA, which has withdrawn from the project. Meanwhile, the developers are still trying to buy an adjacent 750-space parking ramp f…

A downtown Buffalo resident who owns a 127-year-old West Side livery building wants to turn it into 13 apartments and combine it with an adjacent small garage that would become office space. Perry Hill has sought variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals to redevelop a two-story light brick building at 730 West Ave. into two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio apartments. …

A West Side resident wants to put up a stationary food trailer on a vacant portion of his Massachusetts Avenue property so he can sell "healthy food to the neighborhood with an ethnic twist." Omar Christian Lopez has sought variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow him to start a take-out concession business at 36 Massachusetts Ave. According to his applicatio…

The Canadian parent of mortgage appraisal management firm Solidifi, whose U.S. headquarters is on Seneca Street, is going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange so it can access more capital to support its growth plans. Markham, Ont.-based Real Matters Inc. filed a prospectus with Canadian authorities in each of that country's provinces and territories for an initial publ…

The owners of a four-story brick building sandwiched between Pearl Street Grill & Brewery and the Lofts on Pearl are planning to convert the century-old commercial building into 12 loft apartments, capitalizing on continued growth and demand in downtown Buffalo. Dennis and Michael Masters, owners of general contracting and construction firm BRD Inc., are seeking app…

After losing out on several bids for expensive apartment buildings in Chicago, developer Nick Sinatra is trying to assemble more investor cash so he can act quickly in higher-priced cities. Sinatra is seeking to raise more than $75 million, primarily for use outside of Western New York. He wants to make sure he has enough money available at a moment's notice to close a…

One of the few remaining parcels that could be developed next to the Village of Williamsville – a narrow but long sliver of land on Main Street containing a handful of structures and the home of a fruit stand and farmers market – is up for sale. Owner Heather Pope has put the property at 5226-5228 Main St., located near the corner of Main and North Forest Road, on …

A group of local real estate investors and developers have spent $2 million assembling more than a dozen vacant properties that make up about an acre of land along Michigan Avenue across from Roswell Park Cancer Institute. While the investors are not yet talking about their plans, they're seeking to capitalize on the fast-growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus ac…

A Clarence couple has acquired an Amherst parcel with a NAPA Auto Parts store on it, paying $1.9 million for the investment property. Roy A. and Maria Pitman, acting through Romar Industrial Plaza LLC, bought the 1.3-acre property at 2387 Niagara Falls Blvd. from GHI Ventures LLC of suburban Atlanta. The 9,708-square-foot single-story building was constructed in 1997, a…

A dispute between a downstate asbestos remediation firm and the owners of the former AM&A's department store on Main Street has delayed a $70 million project to turn the building into a 300-room hotel and led to legal threats. Tristate Cleaning Solutions Inc. of Queens was hired last year by Landco H&L, an investor group from Queens and China, to clean up asbe…

Two downtown redevelopment projects are up for a combined $1.5 million in low-interest loans from a city-administered fund designed to support the rejuvenation of older urban buildings. Paul Kolkmeyer's Priam LLC and Benjamin Obletz's First Amherst Development Corp. are seeking money from the Buffalo Building Reuse Project loan program, which is run by the Buffalo Urban…

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. is reworking its design for a high-rise apartment building on Ellicott Street after estimated costs for underground parking threatened the project's viability. The company still hopes to have final plans ready by late summer for its proposal to build an 18-story residential, office and retail tower anchored by an Orchard Fresh grocery sto…