If Visit Buffalo Niagara should need a new marketing slogan, or even just an alternative for use locally, Jon Williams might have an idea.
Minutes after Williams' South Buffalo Development LLC received Buffalo Planning Board approval on May 7 for a $3 million sports complex on Elk Street, the developer was talking up the exciting opportunities in the industrial area near the Buffalo River.
Williams, the owner of Ontario Specialty Contracting, noted the transformation along the river, and the fresh buzz that Earl Ketry's Riverworks has brought to Ganson Street. And he said his own project - with an indoor field house and an outdoor turf field aimed at high school, collegiate or adult teams - would only add to the new vibe.
"You give people outside the region options, and they have multiple reasons to come," he said. "People who come to Riverworks, you see them watching the trains and boats."
And he said that rather than fearing its manufacturing roots, the city should embrace it.
"We're an industrial city," he said. "The coolest thing about Buffalo is that ... you're not in Amherst."