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Press Pass: Developers drawn to Canalside success

WBFO file photo

The Ice at Canalside has proven to be a big hit this winter as skaters have flocked to the outdoor facility, even on the most frigid evenings. The activity has not gone unnoticed by the business community, says Jim Fink on WBFO's Press Pass.

"It sends a strong message," Fink says. "People want to be downtown."

According to Fink, developers are showing greater interest in downtown possibilities. A recent surge prompted the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to push back a deadline for bids on three land parcels that are located south of the Ice at Canalside.

Richard Tobe's departure from his post as Erie County Deputy County Executive appears to be following a trend. As director of Upstate Economic Development. Tobe will join Howard Zemsky and Kathy Hochul as local residents who have been tabbed by Governor Cuomo for key roles in state government. Hochul was recently sworn-in as Lieutenant Governor; Zemsky was named CEO and Chairman of Empire State Development Corporation.

Fink says the appointments show that the governor "clearly has not forgotten this area (Buffalo)." The local influence could lead to more help for the region from state government.