January 13, 2005
For the first time in decades, there are signs of renewed confidence in downtown Buffalo. BUFFALO: Building Momentum explores the inspiration, cooperation and investment that have produced considerable new development downtown. This WNED production features some of the important new growth in the city and discusses what is needed to increase the momentum.
“The program provides a realistic assessment of the city’s prospects,” notes WNED Producer Regina Ticco. “The guests are optimistic about these new developments, but offer in-depth perspective on the issues still facing the city.”
BUFFALO: Building Momentum examines current efforts to revitalize downtown by focusing on four distinct initiatives:
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is a 100-acre complex involving Buffalo’s premier medical, educational and research institutions. The new Buffalo Life Sciences Complex is a $150 million facility that brings the potential for a growing life sciences industry in Western New York.
This segment profiles Dr. John Cowell, Chairman of Cancer Genetics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, about the research he’s conducting and his reasons for coming to Roswell. Nobel Laureate Dr. Herbert Hauptman of the Hauptman-Woodward Institute says the new facility will attract younger scientists, and ensure the future of his institution. Dr. John Simpson, President of the University at Buffalo, explains how work in the laboratories can expand to new industry in Buffalo. We also meet the owner of Ulrich’s Tavern, who hopes this new investment in his neighborhood can benefit the bar his family has owned for 50 years.
Matthew Enstice, Executive Director- BNMC
Angelo Fatta, Ph.D., President-BuffLink
Rev. Michael Chapman, Pastor- St. John’s Baptist Church
Encouraged by activity on Chippewa Street and in the Theatre District, the idea of downtown living has been reborn. Local developers are creating hundreds of apartment units out of abandoned retail and industrial spaces. Many observers believe more downtown residents are critical for the city’s rejuvenation.
This segment profiles an empty-nester couple, who sold their large home in the suburbs to move into a loft apartment on Ellicott Street. Developer Rocco Termini, who created the Ellicott Lofts, continues to develop that block, and wants to create a new downtown community. Developer Carl Paladino is building on the success of his past residential projects downtown and says the market is “unlimited,” as long as residents are afforded amenities like good security and parking.
Matthew Meier, Partner- Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects, Chair- Buffalo R/UDAT study on Living Downtown, and Co-Chair- Buffalo Niagara Partnership Buffalo Development Council
Michael Joseph, President- Clover Management
Timothy Wanamaker, Executive Director- Office of Strategic Planning, City of Buffalo
Large and small private investors are rejuvenating some of the city’s landmark buildings as office space, entertainment facilities and restaurants.
This segment looks at two new public buildings that are being added to the downtown landscape, and profiles four private investors with confidence and commitment to downtown. Howard Zemsky renovated the century-old Larkin Building as Class A office space; Paul Iskalo is refurbishing the signature Electric Building; Chris Jacobs has bought a substantial section of the 700 block of Main Street; and Mark Croce is creating his own “restaurant row” on Franklin Street.
Marsha Henderson, District President - KeyBank Western New York
Chuck Moran, President & COO- Delaware North Companies
Carl Montante, President & Managing Director-Uniland Development Co.
The Waterfront and Buffalo’s Future
With the recently announced Bass Pro project, there’s new excitement about Buffalo ’s waterfront. Efforts to develop Buffalo ’s expansive and underutilized shoreline are examined.
Mike Vogel of The Buffalo News’ editorial staff has spent 34 years reporting on the waterfront. He describes the potential of the waterfront, and voices the frustrations of the community over its lack of progress. The discussion in this segment starts on the waterfront, but expands to other opportunities in Buffalo ’s future and considers the hurdles the city needs to overcome to reach its potential.
Tom Kucharski, President-Buffalo Niagara Enterprise
Margaret Sullivan, Editor-The Buffalo News
Throughout the program, host Scott Levin moderates lively studio discussions with civic and business leaders about these very real and positive developments downtown and the challenges that are ahead.
BUFFALO: Building Momentum was made possible through funding provided by The John R. Oishei Foundation. "We are pleased to be a partner in this program which highlights the many positive and exciting projects that will bring new life and energy to our City," said Thomas E. Baker, President of The John R. Oishei Foundation.