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Stephen T. Watson

Stephen T. Watson reports on development, real estate and business in the towns of Amherst and Clarence, along with development, government and school districts throughout the Northtowns. A native of the Town of Tonawanda, he worked at the Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse before starting at The Buffalo News in 2001.


Local News

The Amherst Town Board has voted to spend $191,000 to buy a property that wraps around a vacant former gas station site in Eggertsville that has long frustrated town officials. The two properties sit at the corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Kenmore Avenue, a gateway into Amherst. The Town Board last week agreed to purchase 143 Kenmore Ave., an L-shaped property that…

Bills-Free

When Sabres star Jack Eichel went house hunting, he ended up buying a $985,000 waterfront townhome from a familiar face – former Bills GM Doug Whaley. Talk about One Buffalo. That Pegula Sports and Entertainment mantra could just as easily apply to real-estate deals as it does to how the Bills and Sabres perform on the turf and on the ice. The Whaley-Eichel transa…

Local News

The vice chairwoman of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency has resigned after the agency's board approved nearly $1.2 million in tax breaks for what she labeled a "blatantly ineligible" hotel project. Michele F. Marconi, who was a critic of the Amherst IDA's practices before her January 2015 appointment to the board, said she is frustrated that she was not abl…

Buffalo

Sabres star Jack Eichel has a lucrative contract that kicks in this season – and a new place to live in Buffalo. Eichel paid $985,000 for the waterfront townhouse owned by former Bills general manager Doug Whaley and Whaley's wife, Stephanie, according to a document filed Friday with the Erie County Clerk's Office. The property on Ojibwa Circle was built in 2016 and …

Business

The longtime Calico Corners store in Williamsville has closed, and the building it shared with Talbots has a new owner. Elma-based Walden Development Group, owned by Frank Campofelice, paid $2.79 million for the property at 5487 Main St., just west of South Cayuga Road and next to the Original Pancake House, according to a deed filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office.…

Amherst

Williamsville's main drag is a real drag these days. Crews are in the middle of an extensive construction project meant to calm traffic on this busy section of Main Street and make it easier for people to walk around the village. But the Picture Main Street work is shrinking sections of the thoroughfare to one lane in each direction, temporarily stealing on-street pa…

Amherst

You don't need to visit a wildlife refuge to get a look at black bears, coyotes and deer. These days, Erie County's suburbs are where the wild things are. Early summer's Great Black Bear Hunt highlighted just how much nature and civilization overlap. And the decision by Amherst police to shoot an injured bear stirred up strong emotions. It's part of the larger con…

Local News

Erie County will turn over Garrison Road to the Village of Williamsville after it completes about $372,000 in work there this fall. Garrison Road runs half a mile from Main Street to Wehrle Drive and carries 8,750 vehicles per day. The county owns numerous short roads that are best maintained by municipalities where they are located, allowing the county to focus on heav…

Local News

A chain-link fence surrounds Amherst's first skate park, a vast series of deep concrete bowls and other challenging features poured into a parking lot behind the Northtown Center rink complex. But the park, nearly six years in the making, will open to skateboarders, BMX riders and in-line skaters early next month. The park is a gift to the community, and it is a livi…

Local News

A Spot Coffee franchise in Snyder is set to open next month, the latest in a recent growth spurt for the company. Work to build out the coffee shop at 4610 Main St., just east of Harlem Road in a 2,400-square foot building that previously housed Tabree Restaurant, should finish up late next week, said Dan Hensley, Spot Coffee's chief operating officer. The chain then wi…

Local News

USA Today has fired a contributor who suggested on Twitter that the toddler daughters of East Aurora political consultant Michael Caputo be assaulted at parties hosted by a convicted sex offender. The newspaper told TheWrap late Thursday that it had dropped freelance columnist Cheri Jacobus after learning about the offensive tweet earlier in the afternoon. Jacobus, w…

Local News

A $14.4 million hotel planned at Amherst's Northtown Center ice rink complex has won $1.15 million in tax breaks, overcoming objections that the project doesn't qualify for incentives. The Amherst Industrial Development Agency board of directors on Friday morning voted 6-1 to approve Uniland Development Co.'s request for assistance following more than an hour of discuss…

Local News

Monday was a red-letter day for blue cheese – and for Drew Cerza. Buffalo's self-proclaimed "wing king" held the first National Blue Cheese Dressing Day on 7/16, two months after Frank's RedHot stirred considerable angst when the company tweeted that ranch dressing was the ideal wing dipping sauce. At Monday's Bisons game, two people bobbed for wings in a tub filled …

Local News

A major regional foundation that supports Jewish charities and manages nearly $200 million in assets has placed its chief executive officer on leave and has hired an outside firm to review its policies, The Buffalo News has learned. Peter Fleischmann, who has directed the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies since 1982, confirmed he stepped away from his duties in late …

Local News

Catholic Health next month expects to open a drug treatment center in Amherst that will distribute methadone, one year after opposition forced the system to scuttle its original plans. Renovations have quietly moved forward in a nondescript West Amherst industrial park where clinic employees will provide daily methadone doses and other services to patients. The offic…