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Buffalo’s Heartbeat Is Back. So what’s next?

I feel very fortunate to be living in Buffalo at THIS very moment, and you should too.

I grew up here, went to school here, and then after a couple of years of living elsewhere – I finally moved back as a “Buffalo Boomerang”. During my many travels, I’ve always been able to identify the things that make Buffalo unique. The majority of those “things” are absolutely wonderful, but there was always one thing I knew was uniquely negative.

Unlike every other city I have been to, downtown is NOT the heartbeat of our city. Generally, when people have very little time to “take in” a city’s character, they can usually go downtown to get a quick drive-by perception.

As for my hometown, I have forever been accustomed to putting my best hostess foot forward and explaining to tourists and visitors alike that “Buffalo isn’t like a big city, where things will just fall in your lap… you have to be willing to be adventurous because there are many amazing pocket neighborhoods – you just need to know where to go!”

Well, I finally feel that those days are behind me. No more apologizing and encouraging people to see Buffalo as all of us who call it home see it. The ghost town presence that has been haunting downtown is finally seeing signs of life… an undeniable heartbeat.

Pegulaville-Buffalo-NY

The development happening in and around downtown like Canal Side, Larkinville, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Harbor Center, etc. are all little pulses. As these projects get underway and continue to expand, the pulses are getting bigger, which lay the foundation for additional life in the form of more residential conversions, restaurants, retail, and so on.

It isn’t just a matter of seeing is believing anymore. Exploring any one of these corridors makes you actually FEEL the vitality and resurrection that’s been a long time comin’!

Seeing the groundswell of development activity, I find myself asking, “What will the next few years in Buffalo look like?” I never thought that we would be where we are today (looking back a few short years ago), when everyone was wondering if we would ever see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally we are seeing the light, though we are still not completely out of the tunnel. What’s in store for us? What do you predict the short term future beholds? Now that we’ve come so far, what direction should we be heading next? Stay the course? Or explore new roads?

 

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