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Roundtable: Newell Nussbaumer on holiday lights festival and Lafayette Hotel

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Photo courtesy of Buffalo Rising
/
Interior of Hotel Lafayette

By Mark Scott

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-937064.mp3

Buffalo, NY – Delaware Park will be illuminated this holiday season with thousands of lights. Organizers are calling it the "Olmsted Nights Winter Lights." Unlike a past lights festival in the park, Buffalo Rising's Newell Nussbaumer tells Mark Scott on this week's Roundtable that people will get out of their cars and experience the lights on foot.

Also, developer Rocco Termini is moving forward with his plans to renovate the old Lafayette Hotel. Construction crews will begin work Monday on renovating the old hotel rooms into residential apartments.

Nussbaumer toured the Lafayette the other day. Nussbaumer says the building has the potential to once again become a downtown jewel.

Nussbaumer says Termini is still trying to finalize the historic tax credits that will help him return restaurants, bars and retail space to the Lafayette's first floor. He says the developer already has commitments from several business owners who are interested in locating there.

A few blocks away, meantime, the fate of the Statler Towers could be decided this week. Developers Mark Croce and James Eagan say they need government aid to stabilize the Statler's exterior for them to move forward with plans to renovate the first two floors. Nussbaumer says redeveloping the Statler is more of a challenge because of its more complex configuration.

Still, Nussbaumer agrees salvaging the Statler is a top priority. An extended deadline for Croce and Eagan to finalize their $700,000 acquisition of the Statler expires this week.