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Jonathan D. Epstein

Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers commercial and residential real estate and development. He has worked at The News since 2004.


Paul Dinehart gripped the railing and tested the faded wood steps before mounting them to the porch and striding to the front door of the East Side home. Unlocking it, he pushed it open slowly, calling out "Hello? Hello?" in a booming voice.Not receiving or expecting an answer, he stepped gingerly inside the foyer, past a broom and an exercise bike, and onto the dirty brow…

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency last year doled out $24.4 million in new tax breaks and other "inducements" for companies that planned more than $300 million in new projects.The county's economic development agency reported in its annual summary that its board had approved tax breaks for 22 new projects last year, valued at $301.2 million.To support those pro…

If you're a nurse, chances are very good that you'll be able to find work in Western New York."If young people can get through a program as a registered nurse, they will not have to leave Western New York," said James Finamore, executive director of the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, an quasi-governmental organization charged with overseeing job traini…

One of the most difficult issues that faces hiring managers is how to successfully recruit an executive from out of town whose spouse also needs a job locally.But a group of Buffalo companies has found a way to address the problem jointly.An informal network of about 20 human resources executives across multiple industries has been meeting quarterly for years to discuss co…

Western New York temporary staffing firms are seeing a booming business, benefiting from both a surge in job opportunities as well as a glut of laid-off workers.Job openings locally span a range of office, light industrial and even manufacturing industries, and run the gamut from clerical, receptionist, data entry and customer service jobs to warehouse, distribution, produ…

The lawyers at Damon & Morey already had plenty of work two years ago when Peter Marlette and other leaders launched a strategic planning process for Buffalo's No. 3 law firm.Despite the firm's success, Marlette saw the potential to do more. So the leadership obtained a commitment from partners to reinvest in the firm by expanding its practices, extending its geographic re…

There weren't many things that could intrigue Tom Fentner enough to get him out of retirement and back to Buffalo. But a major realignment at HealthNow New York, enabled primarily by a gleaming new headquarters, was enough.The 58-year-old Buffalo native had spent his career working at Goldome, Women and Children's Hospital and Kaleida Health before retiring in June 2004 an…

A combination of a strong educational system, loyalty, and a well-trained financial services work force has helped the area's banks to grow and fill thousands of local jobs.Executives at companies from community bank Evans Bancorp to industry titan Citigroup say their business in Western New York has benefited from their ability to recruit a sizable skilled and talented wo…

Tom Haney and his partners were ready to try something new when they were approached about selling the Village Glen Tennis & Fitness Club in Williamsville a few years ago.Haney, 60, had owned the club with his partners for almost 25 years, and he was the executive director. So they were happy to negotiate a deal. But he just wasn't ready to retire.Rather, he said, he had a…

Meritain Health, an Amherst-based health insurance company, is adding a network of more than 500,000 health-care providers to its options for customers.The third-party health plan administrator, formerly known as North American Health Plans, said Wednesday it signed an agreement with Denver-based Great-West Healthcare to give Meritain clients access to Great-West's nationa…

The seven Broad-Elm Tire & Service Centers in Western New York are being acquired by auto service giant Monro Muffler/Brake & Service in a deal that keeps the operations intact but brings a new brand to Buffalo.The Rochester-based firm is not disclosing how much it is paying to buy the seven tire stores, which are independently owned but operate under a common license from…

The New York State Department of Insurance has released its annual ranking of automobile insurance complaints for 2007, with MetLife as the only one of the 10 largest insurers in the state to also be among those with the fewest complaints.MetLife and affiliated companies came in 10th on the complaint list, with 107 complaints closed and only 14 upheld by regulators. The co…

Community Bank System, which operates 33 branches in largely rural parts of Western New York, said fourth-quarter profits soared 45 percent, but it was largely driven by a $6.9 million one-time tax benefit.The DeWitt, N.Y.-based banking company reported profits of $11.85 million, or 39 cents per share, up from $8.15 million, or 27 cents per share, a year ago.Before income …

Western New York's two largest nonprofit hospital systems each paid their top executives more than $1 million in salary and benefits in 2006, after one was promoted and the other got a raise, tax records show.Kaleida Health paid its new chief executive officer, James Kaskie, $1.2 million last year, up from $844,333, after Kaskie was promoted to succeed Dr. William D. McGui…

Kaleida Health and Univera Healthcare have signed a new two-year contract that takes effect today.The new contract guarantees Univera's 200,000 local members access to Kaleida's five hospitals, Klein Road Ambulatory Surgery Center, 96 ambulatory care clinics, four long-term care facilities and the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York.The contract, the second Ka…