Buffalo Next: What to know about the week ahead – Buffalo News

Customers leave the Starbucks location on Elmwood Avenue.

Feb. 20, 2022
A quick read of news from the past week and a look ahead at what’s coming next.
Presidents Day will get the week off to a slow start as many businesses and schools close for the federal holiday Monday. Here are some highlights for the week ahead:
Booster mandate delayed: Hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies likely would have been starting their week in a panic, rushing to get as many employees as possible their Covid-19 booster shots by the state’s original deadline of Monday. On Friday, however, the state Health Department said it wouldn’t enforce the mandate and will reassess the situation in three months. So far, about 75% of the state’s health care workforce is boosted.
Starbucks vote: Elections are wrapping up at three more Buffalo-area Starbucks, where workers are voting on whether to join a union. Ballots are due back to the National Labor Relations Board by Tuesday, and are scheduled to be counted Wednesday.
The outcome for each of the three stores – at Walden Avenue and Anderson Road in Cheektowaga; Sheridan Drive and North Bailey Avenue in Amherst; and Transit and French roads in Depew – will be determined separately. In December, a Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue became the first company-owned store in the United States to vote in favor of union representation.
Real Estate & Development: It could be a busy week for real estate development in Buffalo and, more broadly, in Erie County. The Buffalo Urban Development Corp.’s board will gather at noon Tuesday, with likely discussions on the Northland Corridor, Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park projects. That will be followed later in the day by the Buffalo Planning Board at 4 p.m. – delayed from its usual time on Monday because of the Presidents Day holiday – which will review plans by Apollo Dismantling Services LLC of Niagara Falls to build a 27,500-square-foot warehouse and 65,000 square feet of additions to existing structures at 670 Ohio St. Buffalo Place, the nonprofit that manages the downtown business improvement district, will assemble Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., followed by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency at noon.
A return to in-person networking. 43North is hosting a Group Chat networking event for people in the tech, innovation, creative and entrepreneurship communities at 5 p.m. in the Seneca One tower lobby, 1 Seneca St., Buffalo. Employees from companies such as M&T Bank, Odoo and Douglas Development will be at the event. 
Welcome to Week 2 of Buffalo Next. This new newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at
New Era takes on a minority investor: New Era Cap Co., the Buffalo-based hat and apparel company founded in 1920, is no longer fully owned by the Koch family. ACON Investments, a private equity investment firm, now has a 15% to 20% stake in the business after converting debt to equity. 
Renovation and expansion project at Bona: St. Bonaventure University in Cattaraugus County is planning to spend more than $25 million to renovate academic buildings and dorms, complete a new health and wellness center and construct a new suite-style graduate student residence hall.
New Salvation Army campus: The Salvation Army wants to thoroughly overhaul its downtown Buffalo campus between Main and North Pearl streets by demolishing five of its dated and outmoded buildings and constructing entirely new ones. The project will include a seven-story apartment building, a three-story emergency shelter and 16 two-story townhomes, plus office space.
Buffalo food delivery service launches app: Appetit, a food delivery service for local restaurants, debuted its mobile app. Unlike national platforms such as Grubhub and DoorDash, Appetit charges restaurants a $99 monthly fee and doesn’t take a 15% to 30% commission on each sale. Steve Ambrose is looking to take on investors and expand Appetit to markets outside Buffalo. 
A new company takes over at state-funded Dunkirk plant: California immunotherapy company ImmunityBio has assumed the lease at the state-owned $200 million drug manufacturing plant in Dunkirk that was originally built for Buffalo-based biotech firm Athenex, which has run into a series of issues. ImmunityBio has big plans to make key ingredients of its Covid-19 vaccine that is under development in Dunkirk and also assumes Athenex’s hiring and investment obligations in Dunkirk. 
A full return of elective surgeries: All Western New York hospitals are now off of a state list that stopped the most capacity-strained facilities from performing nonessential procedures as a way to save beds for Covid-19 patients. But with virus cases and hospitalizations plunging, more hospitals are getting electives back on the schedule – good news for patients and for hospitals’ bottom lines.
Three reads from Buffalo Next:
1. Game day spending, player payrolls and small-market economics. What public documents tell us about the Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills’ negotiations with New York State and Erie County to build a new stadium in Orchard Park have been ongoing, complicated and quiet. But we do have something: A small trove of documents released by the state that gives insight into both the negotiating strategies and potential plans for a new stadium. The documents provide hints into the early planning process of Bills officials, and a glimpse at how far the money spent by fans – and paid to players – actually goes.
2. For Buffalo’s endangered buildings, local landmark status may not stop the wrecking ball: The city adopted its preservation ordinance as a way to safeguard the city’s history; promote the intellectual, cultural and general welfare; and preserve, protect, perpetuate and use landmarks. Still, some of these properties continue to slide toward demolition the way the Great Northern grain elevator has since Archer Daniels Midland bought the brick box-style structure with steel bins in 1993, three years after it was designated as a local landmark.
3. Q&A: Douglas Jemal on his goal for downtown Buffalo as he takes on the Mohawk Ramp: After winning a bid to redevelop the city’s Mohawk Ramp, the Washington, D.C., developer talked to Jonathan D. Epstein about his plans, why he’d like to see more density downtown and what’s next.
The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to [email protected] or reach Deputy Business Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.
Email tips to [email protected].
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A small trove of documents released by the state gives insight into both the negotiating strategies and potential plans for a new Bills stadium.

See who is buying and selling properties in Erie County.

The owner of Buffalo Brewing Co. – John E. Domres Jr. – wants to restore the fading three-story former Schreiber Brewery building near Broadway and Fillmore Avenue.

The president of the Healthcare Association of New York State wrote a letter to the governor to request the state extend the deadline for 90 days to give more time to comply and to avoid further employee terminations amid an industrywide staffing crunch. 

The Buffalo-based tech startup’s revenues soared by 83% from a year ago, and its losses per share came in lower than analysts had estimated.

“My objective is to make it interactive, with people walking around, living downtown, shopping, drinking and it’s working,” Jemal says.

McGuire – owned and led by CEO F. James McGuire and Jackie McGuire Gurney – named G. David Von Derau Jr. as president of the family owned company. A 30-year veteran of operations and construction, he led McGuire’s facilities and asset-management groups until February 2020.

As of Tuesday, the Health Department said 75% of the state’s health care workforce either had received or were willing to get a booster. The state will reassess in three months whether more steps need to be taken to increase the rate.

For nearly seven decades the city’s parking ramps have been operated by Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, a nonprofit entity formed to run them.

M&T and People’s have received approval of their deal from state regulators in New York and Connecticut and shareholders of the two banks. But they still need federal regulators to give the green light.
Customers leave the Starbucks location on Elmwood Avenue.
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