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Prospectus 2018: What's next for the New Buffalo?

The last five years have seen remarkable change in Buffalo. There are new parks on waterfront land that had been a symbol of the region’s dysfunction. People live in high-end lofts in buildings that once sat vacant. A solar factory has powered up where Republic Steel once stood.

The list goes on.

Four new buildings opened on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in the last two years, including two in recent months – Oishei Children’s Hospital and University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Three new ice rinks draw crowds and tournaments downtown. Three blocks of Main Street have reopened to traffic.

All this change has revived the region’s spirit and shifted the way we view our city. It has also left us with the question: What’s next for the New Buffalo? The answer — as you’ll see in the 26th Prospectus, appearing in the Jan. 28 edition of The Buffalo News — is plenty.

Reporters Jonathan Epstein and Stephen T. Watson detail the projects that will continue to reshape Buffalo and its suburbs.

Construction is well underway on Ellicott Development’s 12-story tower at 500 Pearl Street, pictured on the cover. It will house a hotel, apartments and office space. Across town, workers have completed the steel frame for the new home of the Explore & More Children’s Museum at Canalside.

Plans are in the works to reimagine what the old Children’s Hospital site on Bryant Street could become, while developer Douglas Jemal has started work to revive the city’s tallest office building with retail and apartments. Plans for Amherst include hundreds of new homes and a major new shopping development. In Niagara Falls, a new hotel will open by April.

But it’s not all about construction. It’s about people, too.

Deputy Business Editor David Robinson explains why the region’s renaissance will need new high-paying jobs to lure people here or persuade college graduates to stick around. Reporter Matt Glynn details efforts to address a growing shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing and other trades that is expected to worsen as a wave of retirements hits employers. Medical Reporter Henry Davis explains how planners overcame hope and skepticism about creating a Medical Campus and exceeded their own expectations.

And then there are the entrepreneurs – people who are reshaping their world with ideas and ingenuity. In this 26th Prospectus, we introduce you to eight founders of Western New York companies who are redefining the entrepreneurial spirit. Their stories – and advice – might just inspire you to start your own endeavor that could one day help shape the New Buffalo.

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