The cover of the Business Today section has much to say, and little to conclude, about the future of Downtown Buffalo:
- Reopening Main Street to traffic stalls - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
Chalk up another victim of the state's budget problems: the effort to restore cars to Main Street in downtown Buffalo.
The $8 million plan to restore through traffic to the 600 block of Main Street -- including the Theater District -- has hit a snag, as the money needed to continue the preparatory work is being held up by Albany's budgetary problems.
Work on the block was slated to begin this in the fall but might now be delayed until next the spring, as the design work hasn't even started. It can't proceed without the federal funds that are being funneled to Buffalo through Albany, Buffalo Place Planning Manager Debra L. Chernoff told the nonprofit group's directors at the organization's monthly board meeting Wednesday.
- Is Phillips Lytle going for a new home? - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
Law firm Phillips Lytle LP could become the lead tenant in a revamped and rehabilitated Donovan Building when its current lease in the One HSBC Center tower expires in three years. ...
Formally known as the Gen. William J. Donovan State Office Building, the 48-year-old downtown edifice has been vacant since early 2007, when the last state offices and employees moved out ahead of a planned demolition.
At the time, the state intended to raze the building, originally to make way for a new transportation center but later as part of the Canal Side redevelopment project that includes the Bass Pro store. However, plans have since changed, and now Benderson — which is overseeing the Canal Side development for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. — plans to keep the frame, gut the interior and redevelop the building.
Good. I'm glad to hear they aren't going to tear down a building that's younger than I am.
Meanwhile, on the City & Region cover, and also key to downtown redevelopment:
- Tax credit law change hailed as boost for projects downtown - Phil Fairbanks/The Buffalo News
Two major downtown projects — the Hotel Lafayette and the former AM&A’s building — may be back on track thanks to proposed changes in New York State’s historic tax credit program. ...
The changes, included in a bill Gov. David A. Paterson will send to the State Legislature today, reopens a state law that developers once hailed as a boon to historic rehabilitation projects but now realize, a year later, is flawed.
The reforms, many of them pushed by Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, solve the biggest problem with the law — its prohibition on selling tax credits to banks and insurance companies.
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News