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Time to demolish the AM&A's building?

   The future of the languishing, former AM&As department store in downtown
Buffalo should be clearer in the next two months as city lawyers and the
Buffalo Housing Court put pressure on its owners to produce repair plans.

   Out-of-town owners New Horizons Acquisitions LLC were slapped with building
code violations a year ago and both the court and the city have run out of
patience on the fix-ups, and on the developer's promises to convert the
property to a mix of apartments, offices and retail.

   The downtown retail landmark last saw activity in 1999 under former owner
Richard Taylor. Will pressure on the new owner change the building's fate? Is
conversion of the 400,000-square-foot complex doable? Or is it time to revisit
the idea of demolition to create a prime downtown development site?

-- Sharon Linstedt

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