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If local fans of Sonic Drive-In were thrilled to hear the popular fast-food chain is coming to Henrietta, near Rochester, they’ll probably be twice as thrilled to find out the chain may be headed for Buffalo, too.Franchise group leader Fran DeSimone will develop five drive-ins in the Rochester market over the next four years. The first location, in Henrietta, is expected t…

Construction and Growth

ALBANY – Businesses that locate new jobs on vacant public or private college land will get treated to 10 years without any state or property taxes under a deal finalized Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders.The tax-free bonanza will, if Cuomo’s predictions come true, lead to one of the greatest job-producing benefits for upstate New York in generations…

Amherst

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government has agreed to change the terms of a $1.2 million federal grant to allow the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to speed up its study of building a mass transit link between downtown Buffalo and Amherst.The Federal Transit Administration agreed to the change at the request of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who announced the move on …

Buffalo

Time Warner Cable is considering locating a new regional call center at the former Sheehan Memorial Hospital building east of downtown Buffalo, bringing as many as 250 to 300 jobs, according to politicians and other sources familiar with the situation.The communications giant has been exploring possible sites along the East Coast for a new call center for its Time Warner B…

Amherst

Developer William L. Huntress has won a $3 million jury verdict against the Town of Amherst after a four-week trial in state court.Huntress sued the Town Board after it voted in 2006 to rescind a previous approval for an office park at 2190 Wehrle Drive.During the trial, his lawyers argued that the board’s about-face on the project was due to opposition from neighbors and …

Buffalo

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. has hired marketing and public relations firm Eric Mower + Associates to help create a stronger brand awareness for the Canalside redevelopment, while also reaching out to businesses and Buffalo's minority community to participate in the area's revival.At its monthly board meeting, the public authority Wednesday approved a new contract w…

A vacant school building on the East Side, with broken windows, graffiti and weeds growing through what used to be a playground and parking lot, is expected to be gutted and get new life as a homeless shelter and center for human services.The former Broadway Village Community Elementary School, or School 57, on Sears Street, closed 10 years ago, but the leadership of the a…

Buffalo

Less than three months after losing his high-profile job as CEO of First Niagara Financial Group, John R. Koelmel has re-emerged in a new leadership role where he could wield his influence in shaping Buffalo’s redevelopment.Koelmel was named Thursday as the new president of the Sabres’ HarborCenter project in downtown Buffalo. The longtime banking executive will oversee th…

Developer Rocco Termini said Friday that Acqua will operate a 21-room boutique hotel and banquet space in the former FWS building at 1738 Elmwood Ave., which would make it the first hotel in North Buffalo.Acqua, owned by William Koessler, operates a restaurant and banquet space at 2192 Niagara St., and Marquis de Lafayette at Hotel @ the Lafayette, where the company caters…

The battle over large hotels in Amherst isn’t ending anytime soon.A group of homeowners who live near the proposed Hyatt Place hotel said they would fight the town’s approval of the controversial project, and now they’re following through.Members of the Livingston Parkway Association will be in State Supreme Court next week to kick off their legal challenge to the project …

Buffalo

Health benefits exchange provider Liazon Corp. on Wednesday confirmed that it will be the lead tenant taking up at least one floor of Ellicott Development Co.'s planned redeveloped Coffee Rich building.The company will relocate from a smaller space in a building on Main Street in Buffalo owned by Erie County Clerk and developer Christopher Jacobs.Liazon, which has expanded…

Buffalo

For decades, Western New Yorkers have been arguing over what has generally been viewed as misuse of the waterfront area.Members of the music community, likewise, have long decried the lack of a permanent large-scale performance venue, and claimed the absence of such a venue as a significant factor in the lack of human traffic downtown.But with the recent explosion of activ…

Buffalo

The Seneca Nation’s plans for a bigger, more elaborate casino in downtown Buffalo got the legal go-ahead Friday when a federal judge dismissed the last of three lawsuits seeking to block the project.Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny rejected the argument that the downtown casino is illegal, ending for now an anti-casino group’s seven-year legal battle with the S…

Families with chronically ill children who go to the hospital frequently will have a place of their own when the new children’s hospital opens on the Medical Campus. No longer will they have to meet staff and administrators in the cafeteria or in playrooms.On Wednesday, executives from New Era Cap Co. announced a $2 million donation to establish the New Era Pavilion at the…

Buffalo

Terry Pegula took a break from the disappointing season his Buffalo Sabres are having to bring the city a bit of good news.Pegula – who is seldom seen or heard around Buffalo – was in town on Saturday to take part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the organization’s $172.2 million hotel and ice rink complex that will rise across from First Niagara Center.Pegula told the …