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Developer Discusses His Downtown Plans

By Kenny Macdonald

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo's most buzzed-about developer, Bashar Issa, talked about his plans for downtown Buffalo during a "Working for Downtown" forum Thursday. More than 400 development and real estate professionals filled a banquet room to hear what the 28-year-old entrepreneur had to say.

Issa bought the Statler building last August and plans to renovate it into office, residential and hotel space. Last week, he won approval from the city's planning board to build a 40-story, multi-use complex at the corner of South Elmwood and Mohawk Streets.

Issa says he sees parallels between his hometown of Manchester, England and Buffalo. He said he's confident about his ability to see these projects through.

Local economic development officials say they have no reason to doubt that Issa will be able to follow through on his projects.