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Charles Rosenow, planner for four Buffalo mayors, dies

Charles Rosenow

Feb. 2, 1945 – Feb. 24, 2014

Charles F. Rosenow, a city planner for four Buffalo mayors and longtime civic leader, died Monday in his Williamsville home after a short illness. He was 69.

Mr. Rosenow was born in Buffalo and was a graduate of Canisius College. He earned a graduate degree in urban planning from New York University.

He was a city planner and held other positions in public-sector development during the administrations of Frank A. Sedita, Stanley M. Makowski, James D. Griffin and Anthony M. Masiello.

Some of the larger projects he was involved with were development of Tifft Farm Nature Preserve, the demolition of War Memorial Stadium and conversion of the space into an amateur athletic facility, the building of Coca-Cola Field and development of the Buffalo Free Trade Complex and the New Buffalo Industrial Park.

Mr. Rosenow served as president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., the Buffalo Enterprise Development Corp., Development Downtown Inc. and the Buffalo Neighborhood Revitalization Corp.

He was also director of another half-dozen local development and budget entities.

Mr. Rosenow also worked in Reno, Nev. for several years. He was director of economic development for a non-gambling Indian tribe, steering several projects, including a luxury auto mall, health clinic and Walmart. He also worked for the City of Reno on conversion of a hotel into artist lofts and construction of a multiplex movie theater.

Mr. Rosenow returned to Buffalo to work on waterfront development, retiring in 2008.

In a 2008 Buffalo News article about his retirement, Mr. Rosenow said, “I’ve gotten a lot off satisfaction from working in public service. My career has kind of zigged and zagged, but development has always been part of it.”

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lucy; two sons, Michael and Matthew; a brother, Al; and four grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 6919 Transit Road, Swormville.

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