Mapping Downtown Buffalo’s Development

by Christopher Finn, Research Manager

In the years ahead, 2014 will be viewed as a milestone in Buffalo’s history.

-The year that development plans and proposals turned to cranes and steel.

-The year that saw the commencement or continued construction of projects that altered the future of the western New York region.Buffalo, NY Development on the Rise!

These projects were not achieved by happenstance, but through decades of hard work and persistence from local stakeholders, built from the foundation of other significant development ventures that came before.

From Buffalo Billion Initiatives, (eg – High Tech Park @ Riverbend and IBM’s announcement) to HARBORcenter; from the University at Buffalo’s Medical School to Canalside, Buffalo’s development is occurring organically and with great diversity.

Our future is now and it’s the culmination of a development strategy rooted in unprecedented cooperation between public and private entities, community organizations and every level of government.

In an effort to chronicle this momentum, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise has updated our downtown developments maps. We consider this an ongoing effort, with updates occurring regularly, so input is always welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with observations, additions, or edits.

STATUS, Downtown Buffalo Development Projects (Completed, Under Construction and Proposed)

TYPE, Downtown Buffalo Development Projects (Medical/Medical R&D, Mixed Use, Office, Other, Residential and Tourism/Hospitality)

Connect with BNE at Trade Events

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

BNE’s 2014 travel schedule is already in full swing, with each trip carefully planned around our industry attraction strategy. Thus far, we have already exhibited at the Canadian Home Furnishing Market Trade Show (http://www.tchfm.com/) held at The International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and featured hundreds of manufacturers and distributors from across North America. We participated in this as part of business development/networking event that the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (Halton Peel Chapter) coordinated. Many thanks to those folks for inviting us to their event.

In the next several weeks, BNE’s Business Development team will be increasing our travel as the trade show industry emerges from its winter lull. There is great deal of research that goes into researching and selecting these shows, followed by more effort to schedule appointments with attendees at each show. We also try to maximize the downtime before and after trade shows by meeting with site consultants and real estate brokers that work in our market but do not have an office presence here. It is an efficient way for us to keep Buffalo Niagara “top of mind” with key service providers and influencers across North America.

Here is a partial list of the shows we will be attending in the upcoming months:

If anyone would like to connect with BNE prior to- or at – these shows, simply reach out to me, Alan Rosenhoch or Carolyn Powell.

Top 10 Reasons Canadian Businesses Expand to Buffalo Niagara

Since 2000, BNE has helped more than 60 Canadian companies expand their business to Buffalo Niagara. Each of these companies was unique and had their own reasons why they wanted to enter the U.S. market however there were certainly some common themes. See the following infographic for the top ten reasons Canadian companies expanded here:
Buffalo Niagara Can Jan2014

Are You Right for Buffalo? Thank you!

So many people were generous with their locations and time in the making of Are You Right for Buffalo? Thank you for your help promoting Buffalo:

John Paget and fabulous crew of Paget Films, Block Club, Larkin Square, Buffalo Harbor Kayak, WNYBAC, Sun Restaurant, Healthy Zone Rink, Anchor Bar, Lexington Co-op, Liberty Hound, Canalside, Tabree, Bistro Europa, Megan Norris, Erin Habes, Bonnie Jean Taylor (wonderful host), Seamus (the wingman), and Chuck and Bill Banas the “twins”…Thanks so much to all!

Buffalo’s Top Projects, Ranked by Investment

Info graphic. The top 10 development projects in downtown Buffalo, NY (proposed, under construction and completed) ranked by investment totals an impressive $1,709,000,000.

  • 4 currently under construction, 4 recently completed, 2 more proposed/moving forward
  • Top 3 are located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC); remaining are throughout downtown Buffalo
  • Represent a good mix of uses such as medical, tourism/hospitality, federal , office and mixed use

Buffalo Niagara Development dec2013

From Rusty to Radiant: Buffalo’s Transformation

Read Buffalo Niagara’s story as recently featured in TrustBelt, a platform that focuses on telling the story of the economic resurgence of the Greater Midwest Region of the USA.

Buffalo, NY Photograph by Douglas Levere

Buffalo, NY Photograph by Douglas Levere

From Rusty to Radiant

Silver bullets don’t bring shine back – but years of hard work can, and nowhere is this more evident than in Buffalo Niagara. Here, a spirit of collaboration emanates from a shared vision, with strategic goals for business and community development that are fueled by wind, water and more than $8.1 billion in public and private investment over the last five years.

A new Buffalo Niagara is rapidly taking shape: It’s a region enjoying success today and positioned for long-term growth tomorrow in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and biotechnologies, finance, education, advanced agriculture – all within one of the most affordable and enjoyable regions of the country.

A Vision for the Future, Realized Today

A driving force behind the region’s remarkable resurgence has been the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). Conceived in 2003 with a 20-year master plan focused on bioinformatics, life sciences, clinical care, innovation, and research, the BNMC’s goals were achieved in only eight years – thanks to collaborative public-private partnerships supported by essential seed funding and streamlined processes to get new projects off the ground.

As a result, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary entities are having a tremendous impact on Buffalo Niagara’s economy:

  • more than $1.5 billion invested, including the relocation of the highly ranked University at Buffalo medical school to the BNMC
  • 5,000 jobs created or relocated to this innovation hub since 2003
  • another 5,000-7,000 more jobs expected in the next five years

A More Diversified Region, a More Secure Future

While the success of the BNMC has been unprecedented, Buffalo Niagara’s business, government, education, non-profit and philanthropic leaders learned long ago that economic diversification is critical for sustained strength. That’s why Buffalo Niagara’s growth isn’t limited to one economic engine. Instead, a high level of creative cooperation is resulting in a total evolution of the region’s economy, with another $1.5 billion in projects underway in the City of Buffalo’s central business district and the waterfront.

From California’s Silicon Valley to Canada, and from life sciences technology to shipping, businesses like Geico, Yahoo, Greenpac, Welded Tube of Canada, and Alpina are relocating and expanding here because Buffalo Niagara offers everything they need to succeed: a skilled and dedicated workforce, highly competitive commercial and industrial real estate costs, low-cost energy, research and development partnerships, proximity to numerous major North American cities and a vast transportation network for imports, exports and cross-continental shipping. The region also offers reasonable business development costs and easy access to major markets like New York, Chicago, Boston and Toronto without the hassles or high costs of locating in major metropolitan areas.

The region’s slow-but-steady growth over the last decade also meant that while other areas experienced “boom and bust” economies, Buffalo Niagara’s housing market continued to strengthen and our employment rates remained stable. In addition, our strong bi-national business ties and our proximity to Canada’s largest city benefited our region in everything from retail to restaurants to manufacturing.

And, thanks to Buffalo Niagara’s geography – within the largest freshwater basin in the world and surrounded by two Great Lakes and the mighty Niagara River – the region is uniquely positioned to support forward-looking energy production, like wind and solar energy, and to supply inexpensive hydroelectric power to new and expanding manufacturers in Buffalo Niagara.

Growth Fueled by State-Level Support

In 2012, New York State pledged $1 billion in state funding for growth in key industries and to leverage an additional $5 billion in private investment. This unprecedented state commitment to the continued revitalization of the western New York economy means that new and relocating businesses get the support they need for companies to take root and grow. Investments from the “Buffalo Billion” are decided through collaborations like the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, with input from the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) and other partners and will continue to be for several years to come.

Further fueling this growth is the Start-Up NY initiative, in which businesses opening or expanding in select economic development zones – determined largely by proximity to New York’s remarkable higher education institutions – operate tax-free for 10 years, offering extraordinary opportunities for partnerships between Buffalo Niagara’s numerous colleges and universities and business. Continue reading

Buffalo Niagara In the News

Industry publications and national media are taking note of developments and opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region. Take a look at some of the latest features:Buffalo Niagara Press nov2013

A decade of hard work – and it’s just the beginning

by Tom Kucharski, president & CEO, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

A recent article in Buffalo Business First, “Steelmaker picks Buffalo for new $102M plant,” says it all: Another win for Buffalo – after more than a year of courting and negotiations by a coalition developed through Buffalo Niagara Enterprise.

That’s another $102 million in new development and an estimated 172 jobs with great salaries and benefits. Success breeds success, too, and there’s widespread optimism that Buffalo Niagara’s future looks brighter than most people thought possible – most, but not our team at BNE.

For years, we’ve known that Buffalo Niagara’s got all the hallmarks of the greatest places to live and do business and for more than a decade, we’ve been laying the groundwork for today’s success.

Working with our investors and our public and private economic development partners, we’ve built coalitions of business leaders, elected and appointed officials, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs to develop strategies for business attraction.   Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development Corporation, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Mayor Byron Brown and the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Visit Buffalo Niagara are just a few of the many elected officials and partner organizations we work with to bring about the change necessary to move our economy forward.

From Silicon Valley to the United Arab Emirates, businesses are expanding and relocating here because we offer everything they need to succeed: a skilled and dedicated workforce, highly competitive commercial real estate, low-cost energy, research and development partnerships, proximity to numerous major North American cities and a vast array of networks for imports, exports and cross-continental shipping.

Buffalo Niagara is once again developing a reputation as a world-class region that’s competitive for businesses and attractive for employees.  But we’re up against some pretty tough competition including some of the largest cities in the country and the fastest-growing global hotspots. Continued success will take more than just “being in the game.”  Capitalizing on this momentum will require even more focus on long-term growth and continued economic diversification.   It will demand teamwork, and a unified regional approach.

That’s why BNE will keep working hard to build relationships, bring people together, and tell our great story to the outside world.

We’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished with our partners and we look forward to many more articles about Buffalo Niagara’s continued resurgence – the result of visionary planning, input and insight from a variety of stakeholders, and meticulous and consistent coordination.  Exciting things are happening in Buffalo Niagara again, with even brighter days ahead of us.

Check out these other recent success stories to learn more about why businesses like Geico, Yahoo, Greenpac and Alpina are relocating and expanding here – and if you’re interested in learning more about how the region can benefit your company’s expansion, relocation or startup, contact us today.

Building the Business Case for Buffalo Niagara

by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager

Since Alita’s plan to build a $102 million factory in Buffalo was announced earlier this week, we’ve been asked repeatedly, “What enticed them to Buffalo?” Some people seem surprised that we don’t mention the quality of life in the region as a central factor. Hundreds of man hours went into the competitive assessment and due diligence process for this project. The cost of doing business from electrical rates, labor, logistics, and cost of living all played key parts in the evaluation.

In a recent interview with Ali Hosseini, Alita president and CEO, Business First reported Hosseini said that building in Buffalo was “probably 25 percent” less expensive than Houston.

Recently companies like Yahoo, Alpina, Muller Quaker Dairy, Welded Tube, and Fed Ex all made their decisions to locate in our region based on the business case, testimony to the fact that the Buffalo Niagara region was once built for business and this remains true today. As Ward Thomas, president and CEO of Sentient Science – an advanced manufacturing company that just recently relocated to Buffalo Niagara from Idaho – said:

“We believe we can make more money faster, we can grow faster, we can hire people – and we can participate in the economy – faster by being here in Buffalo than any other city in the country.”

So what role does quality of life play in these decisions? In the due diligence process, that’s the cherry on top. It’s part of the reason we have a such great and productive workforce and why once we get companies and people to move here they –and their families – never want to leave. Buffalo Niagara:: Where Life Works

Around the Region: Wyoming County, NY

Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager

BNE’s offices are located in downtown, Buffalo, NY – for those of you who are familiar with the city – we are practically right across the street from Shea’s Theatre on Main Street.

It’s great to be located in the region’s core. However, BNE represents the entire region which is a powerful message when working with site selectors. Companies like to consider a variety of options and have different criteria and needs for their business expansions. Our team constantly visits the communities that make up our eight county region of western NY to stay in tune with available assets, sites, and partners.

Recently, the BNE staff took a drive out to Wyoming County and got an update on the great things that are happening out there. We started our day by visiting the Perry Commerce Center.  This is home to Athletica, Once Again Nut Butter, and American Classic Outfitters.

American Classic Outfitters

American Classic Outfitters

The main tenant in the commerce center is American Classic Outfitters. They manufacture sports apparel for high school, college, and professional sports teams. All jerseys are made to order and are crafted by skilled sewers and embroidery experts. It was amazing to see the amount of work that goes into making the jerseys you see athletes wearing on TV. American Classic Outfitters has over 40,000 sq ft and has over 65 employees. What an interesting operation and to see rows of sewing machines, thread and fabrics. Another company located in the center is Athletica. Athletica is a manufacturer of cheerleading and sports apparel for women. They have over 35,000 sq ft and 50 employees. Once Again Nut Butter is a warehouse and distribution company of nut products, such as organic Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, and Peanut Butters. They have over 30,000 sq ft and 12 employees within the building.

Synergy Dairy 1.4 MW digester

Synergy Dairy 1.4 MW digester

Wyoming County is also known for its large dairy farms, livestock and renewable energy.  There are 323 farms in the county, producing over 1 Billion pounds of milk a year, making Wyoming County the largest milk producing county in New York State.  Due to the large number of farms and agribusiness in the county and surrounding counties, Wyoming County now has a 1.4 MW digester located at the Synergy Dairy.  The digester processes both farm waste and food waste from local food companies.  The idea is to mix manure and food waste to create methane gas. The gas would then burn in a generator to create electricity, enough electricity, in fact, to power more than 1,000 homes.  25% of the electricity generated will be used on the farm, and a byproduct of the process will be used for bedding for the animals.  This is the largest co-digester in New York State.

Wyoming also boasts 237 wind turbines in the county with 58 more currently being installed.  For example, the Bliss Wind Farm has 67 turbines that generate 100.5 megawatts of power, and opened May 18, 2008.

With its mix of quaint villages, unique shops, and excellent restaurants and natural retreats there is so much to see and do in Wyoming County.  With top employers like Pioneer Credit Recovery, Morton Salt, API Heat Transfer, Koike Aronson, Prestolite Electric and Markin Tubing, there’s a great quality of life to be had.

Check out more data about Wyoming County here, or if you are interested in learning more about what to see and do in Wyoming, visit www.gowyomingcountyny.com