Knowing progress: ‘The Future of Downtown Buffalo’ seminar tonight
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • May 07, 2013 @ 9:00am
If the shrill shrieks of machinery are any indication, there’s tangible progress being made in downtown Buffalo.
Countless conversations with Buffalonians meander to the bustling of Canalside, the potential of HarborCenter, the absurdly promising medical corridor, the quickly-created Donovan Building—all major projects that will continue to push the city’s momentum forward.
From 6 to 8 tonight at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Rd., Depew, several Buffalo luminaries will discuss the progress on the waterfront and the development plans laid out for the future in the broad-based seminar titled “The Future of Downtown Buffalo.” The event is officially sold-out, revealing how much Queen City citizens are attracted to learning about Buffalo’s future.
While some may see a panel like this as “grandstanding,” over 300 people have already signed up to hear details.
Speakers include Dr. Marnie LaVigne, associate vice president for economic development at the University at Buffalo; real estate developer Rocco Termini, who’s transformed the Hotel at the Lafayette; and David State, the chief legal counsel for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA).
If you’re planning to attend—or are just curious about who these folks are—here’s a brief rundown for each of them and their involvement in Buffalo’s future:
LaVigne: According to her Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center profile, LaVigne: “She is responsible for creating industry/government/academic partnerships and commercial linkages that facilitate the transfer of technology from the region’s premier research institutions to economic growth and job creation in upstate New York.” In laymen’s terms, she’s a relationship builder who stimulates job creation through the cutting-edge resources available to her.
Termini: Lauded for his efforts in restoring the Hotel at the Lafayette to a mixed-use gem, Termini hasn’t rested since—eying two massive complexes just off Elmwood Avenue (near Hertel) for further mixed-use opportunities. Termini and Howard Zemsky (Larkin District) are the two primary developers with a vision for the city, so it will be interesting to hear Termini’s perspective on the future.
State: The legal counsel under board chairman Howard Zemsky, State is immersed in the potential sale of 384 acres of waterfront land to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. Most recently, though, NFTA did manage to speed up the schedule to replace Buffalo’s subway cars, which date back to the 1980s.